We all know that time is precious. It can seem like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Between work, family, friends, and interests, it’s easy to let our health and well-being fall by the wayside. But if we make some small changes in our daily routine, we can make a big difference.
Leisure activities and hobbies are essential for your health. Many mental health professionals suggest that carving out time for leisure activities can help improve your overall health and well-being. That said, here are some healthy hobbies you can start today!
#1: Try Photography
Photography can be an excellent hobby, and it can also be incredibly great for our mental health. Professor Denise C. Park from the University of Texas has done some research on this, and she found that photography is a highly cognitive activity. Basically, this means that when we take photos, we’re giving our brain a workout, which can help improve our episodic memory and reasoning skills.
Photography allows you to share your life and experiences with others in meaningful ways, you can display your pictures in photo books and gift them to others. Or, you can keep your photo books for yourself and look over them when you’ve got the time. It’s also a great way to develop your creative and technical skills and can be something that can become a full time career given time and patience..
#2: Learn Gardening
One outdoor hobby that is becoming increasingly popular is gardening. Not only is it healthy for your body and mind, but it also has some great benefits, like increased exposure to vitamin D, increased calcium intake, and a boosted immune system. And it’s a great form of aerobic exercise, too – you’ll get a workout in without even realizing it as you twist out weeds, reach for tools, and bend over flower beds.
Furthermore, there’s nothing like the feeling of harvesting your own produce, whether it’s a big crop or just a few items. It’s a real confidence boost, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see something you’ve nurtured grow from a seed to a plant.
#3: Start Reading
Just like your body, your brain needs regular nourishment in the form of books! But we know that making the time to read can be tough. A fun new hobby can be just the push you need to reach the end of that book and make it to the book club on time. Book clubs are a fantastic way to meet new people and have a blast doing it. They’re social activities open to anyone, regardless of age or gender.
Whether you’re looking for a more formal group with regular meetings and a reading list, or something more relaxed with friends, there’s an option for you. So get reading!
#4: Go Hiking
Hiking is a great way to improve your mental, emotional and physical health; credit goes to the feel-good chemical called endorphins.
Staying outdoors has another perk – research shows that being in sunlight can help release neuroreceptors that promote positive thinking. So take a break from being cooped up indoors, and soak up some Vitamin D the next chance you get!
Also, you don’t have to hike up mountains or plan something big to start hiking. You can simply head towards the countryside and breathe fresh air. It will help you to reconnect with nature and soothe the stresses of daily life.
#5: Start Art Projects
Being creative has some proven benefits- it also releases dopamine, and that gives you a pleasurable feeling. A study published in the International Journal of Women in Technical Education and Employment in 2022 found that painting helps with attention, increases self-esteem, and reduces stress.
There are lots of creative arts to choose from if you want to start. Maybe you want to try a sculpture class, create custom Photo books or start playing the piano again. Or maybe you prefer writing? Whatever it is, there’s definitely a creative outlet for everyone. The only challenge is finding which one speaks to you!
#6: Learn to Swim
Swimming is a very healthy activity that everyone can learn and enjoy. Whether you take lessons, swim for 20 minutes before work, or just want to have fun with the kids, swimming is a great choice with lots of benefits.
A 20-minute swim can do wonders for your health, so it’s ideal for busy people. And with many pools offering extended opening hours and lunchtime swims, it’s getting even easier to fit it into your schedule.
#7: Do Yoga
Yoga is an excellent hobby to adopt for a plethora of reasons. Not only does it come with several mental and physical health benefits, but it can also help improve your life significantly.
So, start doing yoga to improve your physical and mental balance, increase strength and flexibility, and fight stress. Plus, it is one of the few inexpensive hobbies that can give you rich rewards in life!