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Exploring the Surprising Truth About Knitting and Stress Relief

By Sixty and Me December 23, 2016 Lifestyle

As we enter into our 60s and beyond, it’s important to find ways to minimize stress and enjoy our lives to the fullest. One way to do just that is by finding hobbies and activities that bring us pleasure and relaxation – like knitting!

Knitting is a very popular pastime for women in the Sixty and Me community, and it’s no surprise due to its soothing and rewarding nature.

Today, we’re excited to be joined by Nancy Queen, owner of online knitting shop and author of two hit knitting books. She’s going to share with us all of the wonderful benefits that knitting can offer.

Let’s find out just how beneficial knitting can be!


Why Knitting?

If you are a knitter, you already know that knitting can be a fun and enjoyable pastime. But is there more to knitting than just being a good way to pass the time?

According to our guest knitting expert, there sure is!

Nancy shares with us that numerous studies show that knitting is an effective way to reduce anxiety and stress. One study in particular even claims that knitting offers stress-reduction benefits comparable to yoga.

Breathe the Stress Away

By allowing your breathing to become more rhythmic as you focus on your stitching, you naturally begin to relax and de-stress. Nancy believes that knitting is a great way to center yourself in any situation and always has a knitting project with her when she’s on the go.

Social Interaction

Another way that knitting can benefit your health is by offering you an opportunity for bonding with other people. Knitting is actually more of a communal activity than you may think.

Knitting on the train or in the airport will likely prompt other knitters to approach you and spark up a conversation. This human interaction is a great way to boost happiness and lower anxiety. Knitting is a perfect tool for increasing the social element in your life.

Idle Hands

We’ve all heard the saying, idle hands are the devil’s plaything. Well, this will never be an issue for you if your hands are busy knitting!

Knitting can effectively keep you from engaging in not-so-healthy activities like smoking or mindless eating. In fact, knitting can actually help you lose a little weight. Nancy informs us that knitting burns 102 calories per hour.

So, instead of stuffing your face with popcorn or cookies next time you’re watching Netflix, pick up your knitting needles instead and burn a few extra calories!

Zone Out

It’s not uncommon to completely zone out while knitting and slip away into your memories.

This can be extremely good for your brain and overall mental state. We spend so much of our lives having to be “on” and pushing our brain to the limit. Knitting gives you a chance to let your brain zone out while still remaining focused on the task at hand.

This zoning out positively affects the receptors in your brain and increases the production of endorphins. It can also be an effective way to keep your brain sharp and nimble thanks to your teaching it a new skill.

The Happiness Quotient

If you’re an active knitter, then you’re already familiar with how much fun it can be.

And now, thanks to Nancy, you have even more reasons to continue knitting! By reducing stress, promoting a more social lifestyle, and keeping your brain sharp, knitting offers a wealth of healthy side effects.

On top of all those benefits, knitting is a skill that can be taught to a friend or passed down to a grandchild. This simple act of sharing your personal passion with a loved one can be highly rewarding.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick up those knitting needles and start boosting your health today!

Which of the benefits of knitting do you find most interesting? Have you personally experienced any of these benefits from knitting? What other ways do you find to de-stress? Please share your comments!

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The Author

Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

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