As you’ve gotten older, you may be a little more likely to stay in your lane. You have a good idea of what you like, what you’re good at, and probably most importantly, what you know. But new things, in some cases, can bring on significant benefits.
If you don’t have any hobbies, finding one could be the key to healthy aging and a better future.
Research has shown that people who spend time doing hobbies or other leisure pursuits, regardless of current health, go on to experience better health and a higher quality of life. Studies show hobbies promote:
- Better physical health: Research indicates that people who undertake enjoyable activities have a lower body mass index, smaller waist, lower blood pressure, and better overall physical function and mobility.
- Better sleep
- Lower stress: There is evidence that people with hobbies who enjoy their leisure time deal can deal with stressful life events better than people that don’t.
- Better mood
- Greater life satisfaction
- Stronger social networks
The benefits of a hobby might not be surprising. The challenge, however, is finding something that can serve as a hobby to lend some active enjoyment to your free time. There are not a lot of rules to follow when picking a hobby. However, there are a couple.
A hobby requires time and action. It differs from an interest in this way. Interests can inspire hobbies, but they don’t require action. A hobby, on the other hand, requires active involvement like learning, collecting, building, or creating. Basically, it requires doing.
If you’re set in your ways and not generally adventurous, you’ll need to put some work into finding inspiration for your hobby. Some places to start include:
- Doing things you’ve always wanted to do but never have.
- Thinking about the things you enjoyed as a child or young person
- Checking out places like the local hardware store, craft store, community center, or art shop
- Take a class
You can even take a look around your own home and consider making a hobby out of everyday things like cooking, decorating, and gardening.
Making sure your hobby does not involve screens is another thing to consider. Screen time is associated with health risks, not benefits, and usually more about wasting time than enjoying it. Further, avoiding a hobby that is related to your work or career is also recommended.
Finding ways to enjoy your leisure time and getting the most out of every week can help improve aging and reduce the risk of illness. Think about what you’d like to do and get out and at it!