Fitness - Exercise, Happiness and Wellbeing

Can Knitting Make You Healthier?

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Can Knitting Make You Healthier?

Is it true that knitting may make you healthier?  I have crocheted, quilted and even cross stitched a time or two but knitting is something that I have never tackled.  No particular reason I haven’t tried to knit except that I don’t know many people who knit to be honest.  Yet when I read the title “The Health Benefits of Knitting” by Jane Brody, I had to take a moment to read the full article.

There are many folks picking up needle work activities lately including kids, teens and even men. Where it gets interesting is after you have learned how to knit, crochet, cross stitch, etc. is the side benefit of relaxation.  Knitting and other crafts can actually lower heart rate and blood pressure because of the repetitive nature of the crafts. Even more interesting is that it not only reduces stress but boost your self-esteem as you have a beautiful item when you have finished. Sounds like a winning combination to me.

When I quit smoking more than 15 years ago, I actually took a quilting class because I needed something to do with my hands.  If you have tried to quit any habit, you know that it goes well beyond the habit itself. My car didn’t even move from the driveway until I had lit a cigarette. That’s how addicted to cigarettes I was – my day revolved around the habit of smoking. To be successful you have to change everything surrounding the habit you wish to replace.  For me, I had to keep my hands busy, particularly in the evening because that was the main time I would sit and smoke as smoking played a big part in how I relaxed. I learned to quilt to keep my hands busy.
Flash forward a few months from that first quilting class and not only did I successfully quit smoking, I also had several lap quilts that my daughters used for many things including Barbie’s backyard. Folks have reported crafts have helped them lose weight for the same reason – their hands are busy so they’re less likely to snack.

Do you have to learn how to knit to enjoy these benefits? No but you do have to choose the right hobby. Reading books or magazines did not provide the same benefits.  The key is the repetitiveness of the hobby.  Luckily there are many crafts and hobbies that will provide the same relaxation as needlework including painting, gardening, kayaking, carpentry, candle making and many more.

Yes keeping your nutrition and exercise on track is important but mentally relaxing is equally as important for overall health. Why not try a new hobby? You may just find yourself more relaxed than you have been in months.

To your health,