10 Hobbies That Will Improve Your Health

Make room for me time with these stress-busting activities...

Achieving your goals needn’t mean punishing yourself. Why not make this the year you lose weight, improve your physical and mental health AND have more fun than ever before? Immersing yourself in any new hobby will enhance your ability to focus on the present moment and encourage your brain to grow new brain cells and forge new connections, which, in turn, can boost creativity and cognitive function, but these activities take the benefits a step (or three) further?

Whether you fancy getting crafty, channelling your inner scribe or pulling on your dancing shoes, or you’d just like an evidence-backed excuse to curl up in bed with your favourite novel, indulge in your favourite sweet treat or get out in the garden, you’ll find something here that’ll float your boat. The improvements in strength, balance, heart health, immunity and memory, and reductions in symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety and chronic pain which come with them, you can treat as an added bonus?

“Getting into physical hobbies promotes good health,” Dr. Partha Nandi, a medical doctor and leading patient advocate, agrees. “These hobbies not only benefit the body, but also help in making your mind more alert and sharp.” But you don’t have to get physical to reap the benefits. “Science is finding that the hobby diverts the focus of attention away from the problem causing the stress and places it on the hobby. People who engaged in leisure activities were 34 percent less stressed and 18 percent less sad during the activities.” Plus, “hobbies are a great way of meeting new people, and interaction is great for the spirit and body”.

Indeed, a study recently published in Art Therapy found that 45 minutes of free artistic activity, using materials such as marker pens and clay, reduced cortisol levels in 75% of participants.

So dig out your colouring pencils, pull on your pinny and dust off that library card right now: doctor’s orders?

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