The health benefits of knitting
If you ever needed a reason to do more knitting, knowing that it is good for your health on many fronts is one incentive for sure. So grab your favorite shade of knitting wool and get a new knitting project started. Here are some of the great things you are doing for your body:
One of the best known benefits of knitting is that it is a very relaxing activity and will help bring your stress levels way down. It’s actually been shown that knitting can give you similar results to a session of meditation or yoga. Granted, a tricky pattern or a tough stitch can tense you up a bit as you work, but overall, the repetitive action of knitting will relax your mind and bring on a sense of peace.
Sense of Accomplishment
The act of creating something can be very fulfilling and a great boost to personal self-esteem. In today’s tech-heavy world, the art of “making things” has gotten lost for so many people. Being able to finish a project and have a lovely afghan or sweater to show for your work is a real pleasure. And don’t shrug this off as not really being a health benefit. This is definitely a boost for mental health.
Improve Fine Motor Control
Even the simplest stitches or patterns require a fair bit of finger dexterity, and that helps build up the small muscles in your hands and fingers. It also helps to strengthen the nerves and thought pathways that control the muscles, for better and more precise finger movements.
This is really an extension of the last benefit, as the regular use of your hand muscles keeps them strong without actually putting any strain on your fingers. It’s the ideal exercise to keep arthritis at bay. If you already have it, and find that knitting is tough with sore fingers, you should change up your patterns and try to knit with larger gauge needles when you can.
Improves Mental Focus
Knitting is often suggested for seniors who are hoping to keep their minds sharp as they age. Those same mental benefits would apply to knitters of any age though, and it can be a great past-time to keep your brain active. Memory, concentration and mental focus are all part of the knitting process and that works your brain as much as it does your hand muscles.
Gets You Off Your Phone
Since both hands are busy, you can’t really knit and use your phone at the same time. Getting a break from technology and that bright little screen is good for you, and sometimes you need a push to put down the phone. Being able to do something else with your hands is key. In fact, some have found that it works for other bad habits as well, like smoking.
So next time someone criticizes your “pointless” hobby, you can point out that you are knitting for your health. And if you enjoy other yarn-based arts, you’ll find all of these benefits with crochet as well.