Is it possible that two sticks and a string can improve your life? Knitting provides so many ways to improve your health and sense of well-being. More than 50 million people knit or crochet; they must be on to something!

Knitting Keeps Your Brain Sharp

Knitting is a great way to keep your brain in functioning. As with any new skill, it takes a little time to get the hang of it. Your brain really loves this kind of activity! The beauty of knitting is that once you start with the basic knit and purl stitches, there are so many combinations and variations to those stitches, they tend to peak your interest and entice you to keep learning more.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Believe it or not, knitting provides many of the same relaxation benefits as yoga. The controlled and rhythmic movements in knitting also help to control your breathing. You’ll find just knitting for 15 minutes or so relaxes and helps you calm down and unwind. Literally, you’re knitting your stresses away. The Craft Yarn Council shares how knitting helps people relax,

“I use it in my own life as a way for me to calm down,” explains Perri Klass, a professor of journalism and paediatrics at New York University, a physician who writes regularly for the New York Times. “I’m happier and calmer in many stressful situations when I’m knitting, whether it’s sitting on a plane delayed on the runway or sitting at the bedside of a family member in a hospital or a medical office.”

Maintains and Develops Fine Motor Skills

Just as an artist can work magic with a paintbrush, over time it’s amazing what you’ll be able to do with a pair of knitting needles. Learning to knit is a great way to exercise your hand eye coordination. If you’ve never knitted before, your stitches may be a little wonky at the start. Over a short period of time, you’ll notice your hands create the stitches without much thought and thus become smooth and even.

Banishes Unhealthy Habits

Keeping your hands busy can do wonders for cutting out bad habits. It’s hard to snack or smoke while you’ve got a pair of knitting needles in your hands! Next time you sit down to watch a movie, pick up a pair of knitting needles.

A bag of movie theater popcorn can add an around 1000 calories to your waistline, while knitting burns 204 calories in two hours. Don’t think you can knit in a movie theater? Problem solved: light up knitting needles.

Improves Your Social Life

As we age, our circle of friends tends to get smaller. Knitting will open you up to a social circle you never knew existed. Knitting isn’t just about going to a craft store and buying a big skein of yarn and knitting alone. There are so many ways to meet people. Check and see if there is a local yarn store, knitting group, knitting guild or meetup in your area. Lots of libraries also have knitting groups.

Knitters tend to be very social when connected with other knitters and love to share project ideas, show off finished projects, learn from one another, or knit for a charity. Even online, there are many knitting communities, knit alongs and ways to connect with other knitters.

How has knitting benefitted your health or sense of well-being? Has knitting helped you through any stressful times? Please share your story. We’d love to hear how knitting has improved your health.

Nancy QueenNancy Queen owns NobleKnits.com, an online yarn store and knitting community. Her passion for yarn lead to appearances on QVC. Striving to make this craft fun and approachable, she’s authored “Crochet for Tots” and “The Chicks with Sticks Guides to Knitting and Crochet”. Visit Nancy’s website and follow her on Facebook.

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