Home Health

These hobbies can actually prove beneficial to health

Hobbies are often treated somewhat dismissively, as frivolous leisure activities for those who are lucky enough to have time to spare for them. Think again. For one thing, wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all made some time for a little frivolity? Secondly, a hobby can be beneficial to both psychological and physiological health, improving mood, quality of life and even your sleep. Here are a few examples of hobbies that can be beneficial.

Play music

Here’s an interesting thing. About two in three teenagers learn to play a musical instrument, but 85 percent of them drop it within two years. A little mathematical calculation tells us that means about 10 percent of adults play an instrument, but about 55 percent have something there from teenage years ready to be rediscovered. Whether it’s the piano, guitar or flugelhorn, playing music reduces blood pressure, improves hand-eye coordination and even, according to one study, could raise your IQ! Now where’s that drum kit…

Have a game of poker

Poker has never been more popular than it is today, and there are valuable articles and resources for novices at https://www.tightpoker.com/. Taking up the game could be a good idea for several reasons. First and foremost, it gives the brain an excellent workout. Focus and concentration are key to success, and working out the percentages keeps that mental calculator in good working order. Poker is also an inherently social game, and that is not to be underestimated, especially among older players. It was telling to hear poker legend Doyle Brunson explaining why, at 89, he has decided to come out of retirement and play in a few tournaments. As he put it: “It’s good to get out of the house.”

Get a pet

There’s no shortage of scientific research data to support the contention that people with pets are healthier. Sometimes the correlations are obvious – if you walk for an hour morning and evening with a dog instead of sitting around watching TV, your body will thank you for it.  But even if your circumstances or lifestyle preclude bringing a dog or cat into the family, any pet can be beneficial. Watching fish go about their simple lives is hugely therapeutic – why do you suppose fish tanks are so common in health institutions like nursing homes and recovery clinics?

Take up sport

Here’s a secret you can take to the bank: you’re never past playing sport. If you’re not in the first flush of youth, or you’re carrying a few extra pounds, or both, you might want to stay clear of the squash court or 5-a-side football. But sports like pool or bowling are great for hand-eye coordination and help you clear your head of routine concerns. And then there’s golf. As a wise man once said, there’s nothing more therapeutic than taking a pleasant stroll in the countryside and occasionally pausing to hit the living daylights out of a golf ball. Give it a try!