5 Hobbies That Are Also Good For Your Health

Gardening

Put down the knitting needles and pick up your gardening shears! Whether you’re doing some light container gardening inside or you’re getting your hands dirty out in the sunshine, gardening can be a way of lowering stress, providing purpose, and maintaining skills. Did you know that gardening activities can benefit seniors in ways like reduction of pain, lowering of as-needed medications and reduction of falls? For older adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can be a boon too. Some research indicates that indoor gardening can help improve sleep, agitation and cognition in people with dementia.

Could Help With: Movement, Purpose, Stress, Sleep, Mood

Dancing

Whether it’s ballet and hip hop or simply moving your body to a beat, there’s nothing quite like the hobby of dance. One of the best parts? You don’t need any special equipment to do it! Dancing, at its core, is simply rhythmic movement, and you can do that whether you’re waltzing with a partner or tapping your toes in a sturdy chair. It’s a hobby that can grow with you and adapt to your needs. Plus, research suggests that no matter what the style, dancing can improve strength, balance, and endurance in older adults.

Could Help With: Balance, Coordination, Socialization

Music

Playing a tune on a piano, strumming a guitar or even bopping bongos to a funky beat can liven the atmosphere in any room, but music and music therapy can provide people with a lot more than an opportunity to shake their tambourine. Music therapy is an approach to care that uses songs, beats and musical instruments to help increase wellness, reduce stress and improve brain function. It can be a method of bringing real, positive change to people in every stage of life – including seniors. In fact, studies have shown that a music therapy program could potentially decrease depression symptoms in senior community residents with dementia.  

Could Help With: Stress, Cognition, Relaxation, Mood

Cooking

For hobbyists who enjoy cooking, time spent in the kitchen can be relaxing whether you’re baking a cake or whipping up a full Thanksgiving dinner. But even if you’ve been cooking for years, there’s always more you can learn. Trying out healthier recipes or even participating in health-conscious cooking classes can help you learn more about nutrition and take your cooking game to the next level. Bonus? Providing delicious free food is a great way to make new friends!

Could Help With: Nutrition, Healthy Eating, Skills, Socialization, Purpose

Arts or Crafting

Whether you’re a fan of watercolors or you like to get stitchy with a big ball of yarn, creating something you find beautiful can have positive effects on mental health and anxiety. Some people use knitting as exercise for rheumatoid arthritis, and there’s research suggesting that art activities like working with clay can help with manual dexterity for people with Parkinson’s Disease. That same research suggests that group classes can boost self-confidence and provide socialization for participants. And as if that weren’t enough, a study suggests that art therapy can help improve mental and emotional health in the elderly, including improving  depression and anxiety.

Could Help With: Dexterity, Mood, Socialization, Stress, Anxiety

The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or fitness program or acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.

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