Photo by Paul Rogers
Mention knitting and the image of little old ladies, in the sunset of their lives, sitting in circles creating warm winter garments for family members comes to mind. But knitting is experiencing resurgence in popularity among people of all ages. This renewed popularity is making researchers take another look at this old-style craft that seems to suit today’s hectic world curiously well and contributes to both physical and mental well being.
1 – Lower Blood Pressure
Blood pressure testing done on individuals engaged in knitting found that the activity lowered their blood pressure levels measurably during the process. Medical experts believe that the repeated movements increase relaxation and reduce negative thought patterns, which allows blood pressure to stay at healthier levels.
2 -Reduced Stress Hormones
The action of knitting provides relaxation for muscles while, at the same time, providing focus for the mind. This combination reduces the amount of a stress hormone called cortisol in the body. Lower levels of cortisol are associated with less stress, fewer weight problems and better sleep.
3 -Lowered Sense of Pain
A recent study shows that patients who are experiencing pain are better able to withstand the discomfort if they are engaged in knitting. The repetitive activity of moving the needles releases natural pain-relieving chemicals in the brain, and maintaining the patterns helps to focus the mind on something other than the physical sensation of discomfort.
4 – Improved Relaxation
Many people find it difficult to “wind down” after a hectic day of meetings, full schedules and commuting time. Knitting in the evening can help to release the tension built up over the day and allow you to be in a better physical and mental state of mind for a healthy night’s sleep.
5 – Easier Weight Control
Many times, eating is used to fill time or deal with nervousness and anxiety. Knitting not only provides a repetitive activity that can calm nerves. It also keeps the mind and hands occupied so that individuals are less likely to reach for a snack. This can be a valuable aid for weight control and dieting.
6 – Smoking Cessation
Individuals who are trying to stop smoking often say that they don’t know what to do with their hands. Years of holding cigarettes, taking them out of the pack and lighting them become ingrained physical habits whose absence can be disturbing for those trying to quit. Since you cannot comfortably hold a cigarette while knitting, the activity provides a useful substitute for the usual action of holding and manipulating a cigarette and can be helpful for those trying to leave their smoking habit behind.
One-third of women in the 25 to 35 age group now use knitting to provide better stress management, increased mental focus and better health. Learn this easy, traditional activity to enjoy the health benefits in your life.
What are your thoughts?