OK, so we know you might be a bit skeptical about this title. “The health benefits of knitting?” We must be kidding, right? While we like to keep it fun at Boomerang, this is actually real. There are some major health benefits from learning how to knit. Apparently, repetitive needle action is like a form of meditation. That’s according to Dr. Herbert Benson, who’s a mind/body medicine Guru. There have also been cases where knitting helped people quit bad habits like smoking or helped them get through tough times like the loss of a loved one.
Now that you know knitting has some magical powers, let’s list some of the potential health benefits:
How knitting can help your health
1. Reducing anxiety
This benefit is probably not too surprising. There have been studies and international surveys showing a strong connection between knitting and feeling calm. And if you knit as part of a social group, the benefits get even better. Apparently, people like to be around other people who share their interests. Who knew? 😉
2. Lessens chronic pain
There’s nothing fun about struggling to get out of bed. Anyone who’s suffered from chronic pain knows how it can turn your whole life upside down. You’d think sitting down for long stretches of time would trigger some of that discomfort, but there’s been some proof that knitting helps alleviate physical pain and the mental anguish that comes with it.
3. Improves motor function
File this under ‘strange but true’: knitting is one of the few activities that can stimulate almost the entire brain at the same time. The parts of the brain responsible for planning, spatial navigation, visual information, memories and timing of movement are all getting a workout. Who needs a treadmill after that? Seriously though, knitting has been used to help improve motor functions in Parkinson’s patients. It also slows cognitive decline. This is really starting to sound like magic.
4. Helps with arthritis
While repetitive movements like typing can actually be bad for your fingers, the magic of knitting shows the opposite. Doctors have agreed that knitting builds up the cartilage in your fingers. Even if you already have arthritis, dip your hand in warm water, grab a larger needle and start weaving.
OK, so maybe knitting isn’t magic, but it can do a lot. Plus there’s the feeling of accomplishment when you finish a blanket or sweater for your favourite niece or grandkid.
How has knitting helped you or a friend? We’d love to hear your stories. Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story with the Boomerang Community. And if you don’t have a story yet, we’ve got knitting, crocheting and other handicraft workshops happening all the time.
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