When people think about hobbies that can better your health, ideas of going to the gym, traveling to different cities, writing a novel, or other seemingly arduous tasks come to mind. While these may sound attractive to some people, others would prefer a hobby that takes little effort and cost, yielding maximum results, and allows you to see results right away. Some people do not have the motivation to workout at a gym (or even their house), do not want to spend the money to travel, or have the patience to sit down and write. For these people, here are three easy-to-do hobbies that can better your health.
Although gardening may seem like it requires an ample amount of money and motivation, it can be as simple as going outside to water a flower you planted and removing some weeds.
Gardening involves four basic actions:
- Going outside
- Pulling weeds
Health benefits from performing these actions include:
- Increase in heart health
- Increase in strength
- Better sleep
By taking the step to go outside, you are already bettering your health with Vitamin D created from sunshine exposure. Not only that; kneeling down to remove weeds, digging a hole for your flower, and then watering that flower are all aerobic exercises that help boost blood-flow and remove waste like lactic acid. These aerobic exercises will also help increase muscle strength and stamina the longer you do them.
You can also take gardening one step further and grow something you can harvest and eat. Doing this will add more aerobic exercises to your day, as well as allowing you to eat fresh vegetables whenever they are ready.
All of this aerobic exercise will also tire your body out (in a good way), and make going to sleep much easier; adding the health benefits associated with sleeping.
Not only does gardening help improve your physical health, it also helps improve your mental health; some of the benefits being:
- Stress reduction
- Anxiety reduction
- Creating a sense of purpose and achievement
Once you smell your first rose, or eat your first head of broccoli, you will feel like a million bucks and want to share that feeling with your friends and family.
Music and Dance
Most blogs separate Music and Dance when describing healthy hobbies, but I consider them one in the same; you will never find yourself dancing with no music, you would at least be thinking of a song if none are playing.
Often some of the biggest issues people have for this hobby are:
- Images of intricate dances
- Lack of confidence to perform dances
- Uneasy feeling about randomly starting to dance for the sake of exercise
Although you can’t argue with the fact that dancing helps improve your health the same way as any other aerobic exercise improves your heart health, strength, balance, and stamina; the most difficult problems are finding a time/place to place dance and what dance to perform.
The solution to this problem is to not overthink it; you can dance anywhere and anytime you feel comfortable.
Try dancing at home:
- On your way to get water from the fridge
- Moving from your living room to bedroom
- Letting your dog in from outside
Dance is a subjective activity, so try just shaking your legs and moving your arms around. There is no reason to attempt some fancy movement; just do what feels natural.
This will also help improve your mental health as well; dancing is a great way to relieve stress, and can also help improve your memory.
But you cannot dance without music, music will help you feel comfortable shaking a leg as well as help you determine how you want to shake said leg.
Music can help control your mood by calming you down or getting you pumped up, and everything in between. Whatever the desired mood change, listening to the right type of music will also help you:
- Decrease stress levels
- Moderate your heart rate
- Moderate blood pressure
As long as you have a song in your head, dancing will come naturally to you; you just have to let that jitter-bug take control every-so-often.
When thinking of traveling as a hobby, one thinks of visiting exotic destinations or going to different cities and visiting attractions.
In terms of this blog, traveling will be defined much closer to home; you can travel around your neighborhood or local park and receive the same amount of enjoyment and health benefits.
Although you will not get to see exotic architecture or wildlife, you can still have fun walking around your neighborhood by taking note of little things around you.
Some things to take note of while walking around are:
- Small shrubs or flowers. Make sure to look for them the next time you go out and see how they grow before your eyes. This will give you something to look forward to the next time you go out.
- The time of day your neighbor walk’s their dog. This will allow you to be greeted by a furry friend each time you go out.
- The time of day the sun sets so you can watch the sunset on your way back home. This will give a beautiful image to look forward to each day.
Focusing on little things for your travel around will help stop walking feeling like a chore, and make it more of an experience.
The health benefits of traveling around your neighborhood or park are plentiful and varied.
Walking around helps:
- Increase bone strength
- Reduce body fat
- Decrease blood pressure
- Decrease the risk of heart disease
- Relieve stress
- Increase in Vitamin D
Inviting people to tag along with you can help make the experience more enjoyable by talking about the little things you keep track of or anything else you can come up with.
Traveling around your neighborhood or local park is only as fun as you make it; try walking on different routes so you can see different plants, animals, and even people.
Although trying to find a new hobby seems like a daunting task, there are actually simple ways to start one and receive its health benefits. Gardening is as simple as planting one flower outside and watching it grow. Dancing is as simple as singing a song in your head and moving your body around. Traveling is as easy as stepping outside. Each of these simple hobbies have a plethora of positive health benefits that you are sure to notice once you start.
Written by B. Hughes for Access Health Care Physicians, LLC