The Health Benefits of Knitting

There’s a few hobbies I’d like to take up in my free time. One of them is knitting.

When we were young, knitting was often something you associated with your gran. That is no longer the case. Many young people now enjoy the fun of picking up a set of needles, and being creative. And, it’s not just restricted to woman either; knitting is a craft that can be enjoyed by men as well.knitting-1462264795Hsn

One of the best things about knitting, is that it’s easy to make a start. You just need a pair of needles, some yarns and a pattern to follow. If you think that you might need some help, look for a knitting class in your area. Doing so means you get the instruction you need, and you also get to socialise with other novice knitters.

In addition to the social aspect, and the chance to create beautiful garments, you may be surprised by just how much knitting can benefit your health. I wonder what my optometrist would say on that front?

Easing Depression and Anxiety

As reported by Psychology Today, knitting is an excellent means of helping to relieve stress and anxiety. It helps to keep you focussed on the moment and stops you from dwelling on what might happen in the future. The rhythmic nature of knitting also helps to produce a relaxation response, which can help lower blood pressure levels, and heart rate.

Managing Chronic Pain

It’s interesting to read about the experiences of a chronic pain sufferer with knitting. It seems that concentrating on a calm activity such as knitting can help someone who has chronic pain, by acting as a distraction and by creating a feeling of satisfaction and happiness, when a garment is completed.

Helping With Eating & Smoking Less

Many knitters speak about the craft becoming addictive; once you pick up the needles and start, you do not want to stop. This interest in knitting can be a big help, if you want to cut down on the amount you eat, or reduce, or stop, your smoking habit. You have something useful and creative to do with your hands, instead of wanting to grab some food, or a cigarette. Both eating sensibly, and quitting smoking, provide significant health advantages.

Easing Cognitive Decline

Several papers have been produced, about the effect of activities on cognitive decline. It seems that while knitting is not a guarantee of avoiding issues such as dementia, it could be of help to some people. There are two reasons for this; knitting is an activity which can keep the brain stimulated and knitting in a group helps with maintaining stimulating social engagement.

I’ve heard that, with regular practice, it usually takes just a couple of weeks to become reasonably proficient at knitting. The most important thing is not to stress about learning. Knitting should be about enjoyment and relaxation. That way, you can make the most of the potential health benefits mentioned. Of course, once you have become proficient, you can also keep developing the skill, and create a range of beautiful knitted items, for you and your family.

Any knitters out there? Have you seen any health benefits along the way?

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13 thoughts on “The Health Benefits of Knitting

  1. My great-grandmother used to knit, my grand-mother loved to embroider, when I was little I learned how to crochet, but it was in martial arts that I found the most benefit. I have studied three different forms of martial arts since the age of 5, it is my favorite stress reliever! 🙂

  2. I’ve recently been rediscovering the great benefits of painting for my anxiety and its amazing. I’ll definitely add knitting to my list…now i just need to learn how to start.

  3. I’ve tried to get into knitting several times and I just can’t. Maybe I should tell my husband about it though as a way to ease some chronic pain.

  4. I never would have guessed that there are so many benefits to knitting. This will be great post for those who have the above problems.

  5. I have never actually tried knitting before, but I have always wanted to! I had no idea all of the health benefits, I knew it was relaxing but I didn’t realize the cognitive advancements it has. I’m definitely going to look into starting now, thanks for sharing!

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