The brain needs a hobby, it helps you live longer and age better

We tend to think that living a healthy lifestyle only affects our physical health and cognitive function, like in humans. memory and mental agility, it’s worth remembering that we should also focus on looking after our mental health. In addition to the keys we already know to living (and aging) longer and better, such as healthy eating, regular physical activity, getting enough and quality sleep, avoiding alcohol and tobacco use, and Don’t let a sedentary lifestyle take over your lifesomething new is added to the list: having a hobby orhobby.

Benefits of Having a Hobby

Research published in the journal Natural medicine comes to the conclusion that people over 65 years of age who have one type or another hobby report improved health. From this study, which looked at five studies related to the hobbies of people from 16 countries, it can be concluded that only 51% of Spaniards have a hobby, which is one of the lowest percentages among the countries analyzed.

“Entering your free time is essential to feeling emotional well-being,” says Helena de Carlos, psychologist and director of communications and institutional relations at Fundación Manantial. “A daily routine with responsibilities and dedication to activities we enjoy is necessary at any age.” The expert explains that, in principle, having a job (outside or inside the home) covers this need, but later, over time, when the children leave home or retirement comes, we want to fill this free time with something that we really need. for example, it gives us pleasure and motivates us.

The positive effects of hobbies are recognized not only by science, but also by the observations and experiences of mental health professionals. The psychologist tells us: “ subjective perception of general well-being He elderly the good that a person has when he fills his Life hobbies and activities which allow you to enjoy your day, a sense of usefulness and contribution to society, which also affects emotional well-being and healthy aging.

Some of the other most notable benefits of the hobby include: daily motivation (the main element for avoid depression, for example), in addition to developing concentration, memory, motor skills, satisfaction from doing something we really enjoy or for ourselves, stress reduction, relaxation, distraction, etc.

We must remember that, as De Carlos says: “mental health is perception physical, psychological and social balance which entails a sense of emotional well-being.” Therefore, we must not forget the importance of taking care of the social part, of connections with other people, since “contact with other people is one of the most important keys to having healthy aging“, says the expert. Although there are individual hobbies, having hobby It also gives us the opportunity to meet new people with whom we share common interests or with whom we can talk and exchange ideas. In other words, have a hobby can become a kind of bridge that unites people and increase this well-being.

It’s never too late to learn

If you have a hobby on your mind at 40 or 50, you can start it now because the sooner we start doing a hobby, the sooner we will reap all the benefits that will benefit us in the future. “We must prepare for life cycle changes and have hobbies and interests greatly facilitate this transition,” says the expert, explaining that “we learn throughout our lives and at any age; It’s a matter of attitude. We can discover new interests at any time, but we must be prepared for it.”

How to choose yours hobby

The expert recommends starting from the very beginning, namely know yourself. “What is valid for some is not valid for others. The most important thing is to identify our interests and therefore find activities that will satisfy our free time, alone or in a group, and make us feel good.”

But sometimes we don’t know where to start. Perhaps you’ve spent so much time focusing on your responsibilities, family, or work that you’ve forgotten what you enjoy doing. “In these cases, it’s often helpful to share your needs with other people who can help you incorporate new activities and explore your desires, then choose what truly makes you feel fulfilled.”

In any case, whether you clearly understand your hobby or not, the psychologist argues that “choice hobbies special.” And although each person has his own tastes and interests, if you need to choose one thing, from 40 years old“It would be interesting to think about activities that cover all the vital areas: physical, psychological, social and family areas,” he advises. At this age, we often want to take a break from our work responsibilities or move our bodies because we spend many hours sitting in front of the computer or leading a sedentary lifestyle; At other times our hobbies They are aimed at reducing stress levels. This is a very active stage of life in which we demand a lot from ourselves in all respects. “From 60 to 70 yearslOr is it normal that we spend more time hobbies and that we include new ones according to the capabilities of each person.

Apart from all types of sports activities, here we give you some ideas with their main benefits:

  • Crafts: They improve dexterity, fine and gross motor skills, relieve pain, relax, reduce stress and allow you to create and follow patterns. Think about origami inscription, stone painting, mosaic, dried flowers or paper flowers…
  • Weave: there is a new movement knitter (weavers) who made knitting fashionable again among people of all ages. It’s relaxing and helps move your hand joints, giving them greater flexibility and precision, and is an eco-friendly way to make your own clothes.
  • Dye: This is a different way of communicating that promotes concentration, improves mood and trains fine motor skills.
  • Prepare: We dare say that on the Internet there are thousands and thousands of recipes of all kinds to suit every taste and budget, from the most local and traditional to the most innovative, vegan, suitable for those with celiac disease, lactose or egg intolerance, etc. There is no doubt that this a hobby that promotes socialization. In addition, it encourages creativity, improves self-esteem and trains memory, which is tested when remembering ingredients and preparations. The thing about this hobby is that it is very sensual; Senses such as taste, smell and touch are used to the maximum.
  • Gardening and horticulture: Participating in planting and growing plants in the garden, on the balcony, terrace or patio, as well as in growing garden crops, could not be more enjoyable. To this we must add that this is a way to get in touch with nature without leaving home.
  • Do it yourself and crafts: The art of DIY has become so widespread in the hobby world that there are those who have turned it into professionals and dedicated themselves to it. The greatest benefit, besides encouraging creativity, problem solving, repairing and improving your home (which always brings well-being), is the satisfaction of having things made by yourself. Reduces stress, trains mathematical memory and abstract perception.
  • Collection: improves memory, attention and observation. It is also a motivation to always look for new works in different places because you never know where to find them.
  • Play chess: It seemed like an activity only for some adults, but nowadays there are workshops, courses and more and more chess apps that help improve logical thinking, math skills, problem solving and the ability to create strategies.
  • Creating layouts: It encourages the ability to stay focused and focused on one task, follows guided exercises, and promotes motor development (especially fine motor skills). It also stimulates creativity, exploration and observation. You can purchase models in sets or buy all materials separately.
  • Card games: On the one hand, it stimulates thinking and reasoning, developing strategies, retaining information, and honing deduction and memory abilities. On the other hand, it invites us to be around people and improve our social connections.
  • Listen to music: This can be an individual or group activity, which, depending on the music, relaxes or activates. In both cases, it improves well-being, promotes the release of serotonin, activates neurons, especially when we need to remember song lyrics, and improves learning. It is also a way to train your memory by rescuing memories and feelings from the past.
  • Hiking: Strengthens muscles, bones and cardiovascular health. Its benefits are not only physical, as it also promotes contact with nature, which brings great well-being, especially in these times when technology steals our precious time.
  • Dance: No matter how old you are or whether you like this style, it is one of the most fun and rewarding hobbies, both physically and mentally. Tones muscles and strengthens bones, especially the upper body. It boosts energy, improves mood, memory, balance and coordination, and significantly reduces stress.

Sometimes it’s hard to stay active, but The more satisfaction we feel, the less likely we are to give it up.. To avoid the temptation to give up, Helena de Carlos recommends first adjusting your expectations to avoid disappointment and giving up too early.

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