We have become accustomed to thinking that living a healthy lifestyle only impacts our physical health and cognitive functioning, such as memory and thinking agility, it’s worth remembering that we also need to focus on taking care of our mental health. In addition to the keys we already know about living longer and better (and aging better), such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, taking care of the quantity and quality of sleep, avoiding alcohol and tobacco. abstinence from consumption, and Stop sedentary lifestyle from dominating our livesSomething new has been added to the list: having a hobby orHobby,
Benefits of having a hobby
A study published in the journal naturopathy It is concluded that People above 65 years of age who have any kind of disease Hobby Report better health, From this research, which reviewed five studies related to the hobbies of people from 16 countries, it can be concluded that only 51% of Spaniards have any hobbies, which is one of the lowest percentages among the countries analyzed. .
“The use of free time is essential for a sense of emotional well-being,” says Helena de Carlos, psychologist and director of communications and institutional relations at the Fundación Mentale. “A daily structure with responsibilities and dedication to activities you love is essential at any age.” Experts point out that, in theory, having a job (outside or inside the home) fills that need, but later, over time, when the children leave home or retirement approaches, we fill that void. Want to fill the time with something we really like, that brings us joy and inspires us.
Not only does science recognize the positive effects of having hobbies, but so does the observation and experience of mental health professionals. The psychologist tells us: “The subjective perception of general well-being is she elderly The benefit that a person gets when he fills his stomach life of Hobby and activities Which allows you to enjoy the day, enjoy a sense of usefulness and contribution to the community, which also has an impact on emotional well-being and healthy aging.
One of the other most notable benefits of having a hobby are daily inspiration (a fundamental element for avoid Depression, For example), in addition to boosting concentration, memory, motor skills, the satisfaction of doing something we really like or for us, reducing stress, relaxing, distracting ourselves, etc.
We must remember that, as De Carlos says, “have mental health a notion of Physical, psychological and social balance This includes a feeling of emotional well-being.” Therefore, we must not forget the importance of taking care of the social part, of relationships with other people, because “contact with others is one of the essential keys.” healthy aging“Experts say. However, individual hobbies are Hobby It also provides us with the opportunity to meet new people with whom we share similar interests, or with whom we can talk and exchange ideas. In other words, there is a Hobbies can be a kind of bridge to unite people And multiply that welfare.
it’s never too late to learn
If you have an activity in mind at the age of 40 or 50, you can start it now, because the sooner we start a hobby, the sooner we will benefit from all its benefits that will come in handy later. “We have to prepare for life cycle changes and Hobby And interests greatly facilitate this change,” says the expert, who points out that “we learn things throughout life and at any age; It is a question of perspective. We can discover new interests at any time, but we have to be willing to do so.”
How to make your choice Hobby
Experts recommend that we start at the beginning, which is know yourself, “What is valid for some is not valid for others. Identifying our interests and from there, looking for activities that fill our free time, alone or in a group, and make us feel good, is most important” .
But sometimes we don’t know where to start. Maybe you’ve spent so much time focusing on your obligations, your family, or your work that you’ve forgotten what you love doing. “In those cases, it’s often helpful to share your needs with other people who can help you incorporate new activities and explore your desires and then choose what really makes you feel fulfilled. “
In any case, whether you are clear about your hobbies or not, psychologists confirm that “the choice Hobby is unique.” And, although everyone has their own tastes and interests, if you have to choose one since 40 years, “It would be interesting to think of activities that precisely cover all the important areas: physical, psychological, social and family areas,” he advises. At that age, we often want to disconnect from our work responsibilities or move our bodies as we spend many hours sitting in front of a computer or remaining sedentary; At other times, our Hobby Their aim is to reduce stress levels. This is a very active life stage in which we demand a lot from ourselves in every way. ,From the age of 60 and 70lOr is it normal that we devote more time Hobby And we add new people according to the possibilities of each person.
In addition to all types of sports activities, here we give you some ideas with their main benefits:
- craft: They improve dexterity, fine and gross motor skills, relieve pain, relax, reduce stress and allow you to create and follow patterns (designs). Think origami, lettering, Stone painting, mosaic, dried or paper flowers…
- Weaving: there is a new movement weaver (Weavers) who have made weaving fashionable again among people of all ages. It’s comfortable and helps move the joints of your hands, giving them more flexibility and precision, and it’s a sustainable way to make your own clothes.
- paint, It’s a different way to communicate that promotes concentration, improves mood and exercises fine motor skills.
- Cook: We dare to say that on the Internet there are thousands and thousands of recipes of all kinds, for every taste and budget, from the most local and traditional to the most innovative, suitable for vegetarian, celiac, lactose or egg intolerant, etc. There is no doubt that it is a hobby that promotes socialization. In addition, it encourages creativity, improves self-esteem and exercises the memory, which is tested when remembering materials and preparations. One of the great things about this hobby is that it is very sensory; Senses like taste, smell and touch are exploited to the maximum.
- Gardening and Horticulture: Being involved in the planting and growth of plants in the garden, balcony, terrace or patio, or in your garden crops, cannot be more satisfying. To this we have to add that it is a way to be in touch with nature without leaving home.
- DIY And DIY: Do-it-yourself has taken the hobby world by storm, there are even people who have dedicated themselves to it by turning professional. The biggest benefit, apart from stimulating creativity, problem solving, fixing and improving your home (which always creates happiness), is the satisfaction of making things with your own hands. Reduces stress, exercises mathematical memory and abstract perception.
- collected, Improves memory, attention or observation skills. Plus, it’s an inspiration to always be on the lookout for new pieces in different places, because you never know where you might find them.
- Play Chess: It seems like it is an activity only for some adults, but currently there are workshops, courses and more and more chess apps that help you improve logical thinking, mathematical skills, problem solving and strategy making abilities.
- Create a mockup: It encourages the ability to maintain attention and concentration on a single task, practice following instructions and promotes the development of motor skills (especially fine motor skills). It also encourages creativity, research and observation. You can get the model in a kit or purchase all the materials separately.
- card games, On the one hand, it stimulates thinking and reasoning, establishes strategies, retains information and hones the ability of deduction and memory. On the other hand, it invites us to be with people and improve our social relationships.
- Listen to music, It can be an individual or group activity, relaxing or energizing depending on the music. In both cases, it produces well-being and promotes the release of serotonin, activating neurons, even more so when we have to remember songs, and improving learning. It is also a way of enhancing memory by preserving memories and sensations of the past.
- hiking, Strengthens muscles, bones and heart health. Its benefits are not only physical, as it also promotes contact with nature, which produces great well-being, especially at a time when technology is stealing our precious time.
- dance, It doesn’t matter how old you are and whether you like styling or not, it is one of the most fun and healthy hobbies both physically and mentally. Muscles are toned and bones are strengthened, especially in the upper body. It gives you energy, improves mood, memory, balance and coordination and significantly reduces stress.
Sometimes it is not easy to maintain an activity, but The more satisfaction we feel, the less likely we are to give up., To avoid the temptation to give up, Helena de Carlos recommends that we first adjust expectations, so as to avoid getting disappointed and giving up too quickly.