Whether you are a seasoned knitter or you have never picked up a pair of knitting needles in your life, you may be surprised to find that knitting has been proved to have a number of health benefits.
1. It reduces symptoms of anxiety and stress
When our nervous systems is faced with a real or imagined threat, it goes into an all-too-familiar fight or flight response, flooding our blood with the stress hormone called cortisone. These battles your brain is facing may be large or small, they may even go unnoticed by you. But you know the effects - racing heart, jittery thoughts, nervous habits, the never ending feeling of being unsettled.
While all of us have our own ways of dealing with stress, we'd like to throw knitting into an imaginary hat of stress relievers you can use as your go-to relaxation method.
You see, the motion of knitting - the repetitive movement of your fingers, needles and yarn in unison creates a sort of a meditative state. Much like actual meditation and yoga, it lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and allows for a state of calm and relaxation while staying engaged and active at the same time.
"The rhythmic, mathematical nature of knitting and crocheting keep the mind absorbed in a healthy way, providing an escape from stressful thoughts but allowing for internal reflection." (source)
2. It slows down your brain's decline as you age
Much like reading a newspaper or playing a musical instrument, knitting can help you stay sharp as you age. Knitting engages your brain on multiple levels: it requires you to pay attention and stay alert, as well as problem-solve should you run into any snags (no pun intended).
"Scientists are beginning to study leisure activities' impact on the brain. Playing games, reading books and crafting could reduce your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30% to 50%, according to a 2011 study published in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry."
3. It is a natural anti-depressant
When you engage in pleasurable activities, a hormone called dopamine is released in your brain. Studies have shown that creative activities, including crafting, result in a production of a tangible proof of your work. You get to make something out of nothing, and it makes your brain feel self-realized and accomplished, lifting your mood and boosting your self-confidence in the process.
"Crafting also improves our self-efficacy or how we feel about performing particular tasks. Psychologists believe a strong sense of self-efficacy is key to how we approach new challenges and overcome disappointments in life." (source)
4. It helps reduce symptoms of arthritis
Worried about getting arthritis as you age? Perhaps you have an autoimmune condition that reduces your joints' flexibility?
According to the Chicago Tribune, Dr. Alton Barron, an orthopedic surgeon, said that knitting “can be a great workout for the fingers, hands and forearms. Moving the joints of the fingers forces fluid to move in and out of the surrounding, sponge like cartilage, keeping the joints well-hydrated and minimizing the risks of arthritis.”
Are you convinced? Wait no more - head over to our DIY collection that comes with yarn, needles and instructions on how to knit. You can be on your way to a healthier body and mind in as little as few days it takes to ship the kits to your doorstep.
Know someone who could use a stress reliever? Send them a DIY kit as a gift to show your care and love.
Have you found knitting to be helpful to you? Comment below and let us know what are some benefits knitting has on your lifestyle.