Having hobbies is an essential part of out physical and mental wellbeing and can benefit many areas of our lives, from widening our social circles, to getting fit, learning a new skill, and so much more. According to research, our brains tend to become lazy by the age of 25, meaning that if we don’t take active measures, we could become at more risk of developing illnesses like dementia, or depression and anxiety.
In order to keep making new neural pathways, it’s essential that we keep making the most of what life has to offer by getting involved in new activities and meeting new people. The best way to do this, of course, is to have hobbies.
Stuck on what hobby you could take up? Below, we’ll take a look at some new hobbies that are easy to take up and the skills you can develop when you participate.
Learning a foreign language
Learning a new language is an essential skill in today’s global society. Not only it it useful to be able to speak a different language when traveling or going on vacation, it also opens up opportunities for you to make friendships with people from other parts of the world.
In addition, research has shown that out of 684 people tested with dementia, 391 who were bilingual experienced symptoms over 4 years later than those who were not. As such, speaking another language creates new pathways in the brain that can help to keep it active and healthier into old age.
Playing poker isn’t just your standard casino game entertainment as it involves a great deal of strategy, commitment and practice in order to become good at it. Many people dedicate their whole lives to becoming professional poker players, putting in hours to learn the rules and poker ques that are required for success.
The good news is that it’s never been easier to play on an online poker site with so many quality sites available, players can get involved in multiple games at any one time, in addition to benefiting from online bonus features like poker chat rooms where you can speak to likeminded players.
Read a book
(A table with a teacup and two open books)
Whether you already read books or you would like to develop the habit, reading books can open your mind up to a whole new world and a new perspective on things that can shift your mindset from negative to positive.
Whether you’re into fiction or non-fiction, crime novels or romance, there’s something out there for everyone’s interests when it comes to reading. In addition, if you would like to make it a more social hobby, you can join a local book club and enjoy discussing your latest reads with other like minded people.
Not only is this a great way to make new friends but it can help you to create netter habits such as being on your phone or watching television less. In addition, those who read a book at night before bed are more likely to sleep better throughout the night as you are not exposed to harmful blue light that is emitted by screens and can keep you awake.
Take up Yoga
Yoga is not only a physical activity but an activity of the mind too, in which it can take years to master the art of yoga correctly. While there is a lot of physical requirements where you must learn poses and ease your body into positions that may feel uncomfortable at first, there is a lot more to yoga than the exercise aspect.
Practiced for centuries, yoga is also an exercise of the mind and body together where you must master your breathing and become present in the moment. Practicing yoga on a consistent basis can help to create a calm mind and relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Yoga is a sport that is also great for people who are less able to take up as it is low impact and gentle on the body. As such, elderly people, expecting mothers and many other people who find high impact sports challenging could benefit from slower types of yoga.
Take up gardening
In today’s digital world, people are spending less time in the great outdoors and more time being constantly connected to technology. By taking up gardening, it can not only help you to get out in the fresh air and get some vitamin D, but it can also help you switch off from the digital world and learn to practice mindfulness while living more in the moment.
Gardening also supports you getting in physical activity as it can be quite labor intensive. In addition, it could encourage you to have a healthier diet if you plant your own vegetables.
Overall, there are just a few examples of the many hobbies available out there for you to get involved in. Hobbies don’t have to be expensive and can have a wealth of benefits for both your physical and mental health, so what are you waiting for, it’s time to discover a new hobby.