Can hobbies help my health? Research shows that some hobbies have such a significant influence on your well-being— they can add years — or even decades — to your life. Money Talks News’ recent article entitled “10 Hobbies That Can Help You Live Longer” notes that certain hobbies may increase or enhance your lifespan.
- Reading. Stress is a major source of health problems that shorten lives. However, reading a book and escaping into another world can reduce stress levels by 68%, according to a study out of the University of Sussex in England. In fact, it takes just six minutes for reading to start working its magic!
- Gardening. A number of studies show that the physical activity of gardening — combined with being in a lush, green atmosphere — can enhance and extend life. People in their 60s who garden lower their risk of developing dementia by 36%, according to one Australian study.
- Cooking. Restaurant foods and processed goodies can ruin your health, contributing to life-shortening illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, those who make meals from scratch are much more likely to eat more healthy fare. The more frequently you cook at home each week, the higher you’ll score on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Eating Index, according to researchers at the University of Washington.
- Listening to music. The University of London found that regularly attending concerts can add years to your life. They found that just 20 minutes of listening can boost your sense of well-being by up to 21%.
- Volunteering. A study published in the journal Health Psychology found that volunteering does indeed extend life.
- Walking. This can have a profound impact on your health. Incredibly, those who take brisk walks might live up to 20 years longer than their couch potato counterparts, according to a Mayo Clinic study. However, the researchers note that brisk walking — at least three miles per hour, or 100 steps a minute — is required to get the life-extending perks.
- Owning a pet. Many studies have found that pet owners enjoy many health benefits from being around their furry friends. For example, a meta-analysis of studies published between 1950 and 2019 found that dog owners had a 24% risk reduction for death from any cause.
- Dancing. This is a great form of exercise that can boost your heart and lungs, helping you to live longer and be in better health than otherwise might be the case. Research also has found that dancing can reduce levels of stress and boost serotonin levels, which makes you feel better. And those age 75 or older who dance regularly have a lower risk of deadly illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
- Yoga. Research has tied several health benefits to practicing yoga, like its ability to improve your sense of balance, reduce stress, boost mental and emotional health and promote better sleep. The National Institutes of Health says yoga also offers other benefits, such as helping its practitioners to lose weight and quit smoking — lifestyle changes that can add years to your lifespan.
- Meditation. A study published in The American Journal of Cardiology found that people older than age 55 with hypertension who engaged in transcendental meditation reduced overall mortality by 23% over an average period of 7.6 years. Death by cardiovascular disease dropped by 30% and cancer death fell by 49%.
What hobbies are you thinking about adding to your routine?
Reference: Money Talks News (Nov. 9, 2022) “10 Hobbies That Can Help You Live Longer”