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Friday, 3 April 2015

Take Up Knitting ..... it may help protect your brain against aging

How Knitting Can Benefit Your Health.

Image result for knitting needles and wool

" Not only does knitting allow us to make cute beanies and chunky jumpers, the pastime can have a beneficial affect on our health and help to tackle stress and depression according to some studies.

As part of its 'This Is Your Brain series' CNN took a look at the effect knitting and other craft making can have on a person's health. Findings suggest that making woolen creations can help to ease anxiety.

"There's promising evidence coming out to support what a lot of crafters have known anecdotally for quite some time," says Catherine Carey Levisay, a clinical neuropsychologist and wife of Craftsy.com CEO John Levisay. "And that's that creating - whether it be through art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography, cake decorating - is beneficial to us in a number of important ways."

Knitting has been named a "natural anti-depressant" in CNN's report, as crafters receive a surge of dopamine while their hands work.

CNN discuss one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, where 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling "very happy."

The benefits of knitting isn't a new topic among psychologists. At a TED talk in 2004, psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi noted then when a person is completely absorbed by an activity, nothing else seems to matter.

"When we are involved in (creativity), we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life," Csikszentmihalyi said. "You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger."

Studies have found intellectually stimulating activities can help prevent cerebral atrophy and significantly delay dementia.

Knitting stimulates many different areas of the brain including memory and attention span while involving your visuospatial processing, creative side and problem-solving abilities - therefore the pastime could also help protect your brain against aging.

"Studies have found intellectually stimulating activities can help prevent cerebral atrophy and significantly delay dementia.

Knitting stimulates many different areas of the brain including memory and attention span while involving your visuospatial processing, creative side and problem-solving abilities - therefore the pastime could also help protect your brain against aging."
The above article taken from here
I think anything we can do to help protect our brain against aging is helpful. Of course we do have to get old .. that is nature ..but perhaps we could do more to help ourselves, and our brain, stay as active as possible. Whether it be going out for a refreshing walk, or when indoors taking up, or doing some knitting, or perhaps crocheting....it is good to keep the mind active. Of course some may prefer doing a crossword puzzle ... the choice is yours!

All the best Jan

7 comments:

tess said...

This post resonates strongly with me.... For decades I've found that keeping my hands busy with needlework kept me from snacking (in my old low-fat days, when I was always hungry). Knitting, crocheting, embroidering, etc. are "zen" activities for me -- I get good creative THINKING in while my hands are mindlessly working.

I understand that during the Great War, hospitalized soldiers were taught to knit, to keep them busy doing something creative and useful as they healed. :-) Historically, small children were taught to knit stockings around the age of four -- in poorer households, everyone needed to chip in for the family's benefit, and this is something even little ones could do.

I have reenacting friends who practice new knitting techniques making dishcloths. Doesn't matter if there are mistakes. :-) I have one made by a friend out of hemp-fibre yarn -- it's a pleasure to work with!

Galina L. said...

I am a person who does knitting and painting, so it was nice to know that such activities are not only pleasant but also healthy.

Jo said...

I think this is definitely true, not just knitting but anything which keeps the mind active definitely has benefits. My dad has always done crosswords, his mind at 82 is as sharp as ever.

Galina L. said...

Yes, I remember how only painting could keep me from not feeling hungry during my pre-LC days. It is nice to have a wide variety if cheap merchandise at stores, but most of us are not having a pleasure to make own clothes. It is often more expensive to knit a sweater than to buy one. I don't knit sweaters in Florida (however I knit half-shoes for dancers), but I put my skills in use re-knitting elastic parts at the bottom of a sweater and on sleeves when it gets too stretched after washing. Machine knitting just can't produce a quality elastic.
I think that using hands and brains to create is an essential part of being a human, almost like an instinct. When people skip such not essential nowadays activities due to being busy with other things in life they are less happy.

Anonymous said...

I had an old Uncle that knitted. My mother used to knit. It is a popular craft. Although I never have, I do a little sewing.

Jenny S

Gingi Freeman said...

Wow, this is awesome info! I've always wanted to learn to knit.. now I feel like I have a REASON to, haha.. thanks for sharing! <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Tess - I think it's so true if our hands are busy it takes our minds elsewhere. Being creative can be quite therapeutic..... and can be enjoyed by young, old, male or female.

Hi Galina - painting and any craft is good for the mind and soul. Being busy and craft/art creative/doing crossword puzzles etc can give a good feeling of achievement.

Hi Jo - the key is keeping our mind as active as possible. My dad at almost 90yrs still enjoys doing crossword puzzles ..... long may that remain.

Hi Jenny - knitting or any craft can be enjoyed by all, glad you like sewing, that can come in very handy.

Hi Gingi - glad you enjoyed the article ..... happy knitting !

Many thanks to all for your great comments.

All the best Jan