Think knitting and crocheting are just for the older crowd? Think again. There many good reasons to take up the hobby.
Benefits of crocheting and knitting include:
- Reduced stress
- Better ability to cope with illness (physical or mental)
- Decreased risk of cognitive impairment as you age
But why do knitting and crocheting help?
Relaxed, repetitive motions, such as the ones used in crochet and knitting, can help calm down the body and the brain. It creates a relaxation response similar to meditation, but in the end, you have something tangible like a scarf or hat.
Knitting and crochet also help with fine motor skills and keeping your fingers and hands feeling good as you age. Additionally, all patterns involve some aspects of math, keeping your mind sharp and letting you practice math skills. Seeing how math operates in the “real world” is especially helpful for kids: they can see concrete examples of the skills they are learning in the classroom.
Crocheting and knitting are often done in groups, either formally or informally. Whether you take a class, have a regular monthly guild meeting, or just get together with your friends every once in a while to chat and work on projects, chances are you have first-hand experience with how well knitting and crocheting go together with social activities. Being among friends can help combat loneliness and isolation, which can contribute to health problems.
Knitting and crocheting keep your hands busy. Studies have shown that the hobby has helped smokers quit smoking by keeping their minds occupied and the same can be applied to controlling eating for weight loss. Keeping your hands busy while watching TV can keep you from mindless snacking and sneaking out for that cigarette.
And if those benefits weren’t enough, knitting and crocheting can help with chronic pain. Betsan Corkhill, a wellness coach in Bath, England, and author of the book Knit for Wellness established a website, Stitchlinks, to explore the value of what she calls therapeutic knitting. In a study of 60 self-selected people with chronic pain, Ms. Corkhill and colleagues reported that knitting enabled them to redirect their focus, reducing their awareness of pain. She suggested that the brain can process just so much at once, and that activities like knitting and crocheting make it harder for the brain to register pain signals.
If you are wanting to learn how to knit or crochet, there are many good resources in the area to begin, such as your local yarn store or senior center.
If you are a person suffering from a hand injury or a condition like arthritis, you can still reap the benefits of knitting and crocheting. There are various types of tools and needles that are available that can be less taxing on your joints and help decrease pain and fatigue. Contact anyone of our locations to speak to our therapists at Advanced Hand Rehab. They are the experts in hand care and know the tools necessary to make activities of daily living and hobbies easier.
Advanced Hand Rehab
Resources: The Health Benefits of Knitting, Jane E. Brody, January 25, 2016, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/25/the-health-benefits-of-knitting/?_r=0