Those of us with hobbies have something to look forward to every day. When we get up in the morning, the mundane tasks we face don’t seem as drudging because there’s a special activity waiting for us when it’s all over. A hobby gives us focus and purpose, and it can even add years to our lives.
Yes, having a hobby can make us live longer because it gives us something to live for. Eagerly awaiting something is like an inherent reminder of why we are here and what we came here to do. A hobby allows us to think and learn about something that we would otherwise never explore in school. This exploration can ultimately keep your mind young and empowered, thwarting things like depression and even brain deterioration as you get older.
“Retirement usually occurs right around the time when normal age-related declines in cognitive function come to the fore,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Larry Baer of Concordia University. He explains that activities such as reading, socializing, and traveling help keep the brain alert, so our minds remain quick and steady.
But it’s not just our mental state that’s susceptible to improvements. Research also shows that hobbies, even light ones like gardening, can have a beneficial impact on one’s physical health as well. According to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, activities like auto-mechanics, home repair and yardwork have positive influences on cardiovascular health, and can even reduce the risks of heart attack or stroke.
Dr. Tim Chico explains, “It is reasonable to assume that the more active someone is throughout their life, the lower their risk of cardiovascular disease… The message I take from this study is simple. If you want to reduce your risk of heart disease, be more active. Don’t sit down for long periods; get up on your feet and do something you enjoy that involves moving around.”
So if staying young is your game, a hobby can help. It’s a fantastic way to add years onto your life. Spending more time moving about and enjoying the things you love can vastly improve your state of being, and when life feels good, you feel good.