Healthy Hobbies

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Knitting and crewelwork are great hobbies, but they don't do much for your fitness level. How about swapping 30 minutes a day from your ceramics to take a brisk walk through the park? Here are some healthy hobbies and activities to consider.

Healthy Hobbies:
Put Down The Knitting and Start Hiking

You've heard it before: "Get a hobby!" Oh, you already have one? Well, does your hobby promote good physical, as well as mental, health? You don’t have to abandon your beloved flower arranging or crocheting, but you should be sure that some of your free time is spent doing heart-healthy activities. Engage your mind and your body with healthy hobbies.

Are you a…? Nature Lover

How about… going for a hike? Check with your local recreation department. They can tell you where the beginner trails are in your area. Swim at the public pool or beach during the summer months. For the rest of the year, check out your local community center’s pool. Swimming is a great exercise. It engages all of your major muscles with resistance, but little stress, thanks to the buoyancy of the water. Ride a bike around your neighborhood. What about bird watching? Lots of beautiful things to see, fresh air to breathe and places to travel using your own body’s energy.

Are you a…? People Person

How about… joining a walking group or an exercise class? You’ll make new friends and get fit at the same time. Are you nervous about keeping up? Don’t be! Many fitness centers offer low-impact aerobics for beginners, or those otherwise unable to participate at a high-impact level. Coach a sport, think of all you have to offer your community.

Are you a…? Art Aficionado

How about…volunteering to lead tours at your favorite museum. Put your knowledge and passion to good use and walk the museum with groups of visitors. They’ll be eager to benefit from your expertise while you benefit from the exercise.

Are you a…? Crafty Crafter

How about…scour those flea markets and craft shows from top to bottom. You’ll pick up tons of ideas and walk off some excess pounds.

There’s room in your life for more than one fun hobby, so put down those knitting needles and strap on your walking shoes. Your knitting will be waiting for you when you come back from that invigorating two-mile walk - and you're going to feel so much better.