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6 Ways Knitting Improves Your Mental & Physical Health

Knitting is one hobby that just never seems to die. In fact, according to the Craft Yarn Council of America, it's been growing tremendously. That's right – in a world where one can find pre-made clothes with zero effort, a centuries-old, seemingly cumbersome craft is gaining steam. Surprised? Don't be. Knitting provides much more than clothes. Here are six awesome benefits the hobby provides!

#1 – Lower Blood Pressure

shutterstock_159748715 According to Dr. Herbert Benson, knitting induces a state of relaxation similar to that of yoga. Effects of this state include lowered cortisol levels and, subsequently, reduced blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major factor in heart disease – especially among the elderly. This makes knitting a true life saver!

#2 – Increased Dexterity

If you're ever tried knitting, you'll know that it's a real workout for your hands – especially if you're trying to finish whatever you're making sometime within the next century. All that work builds the muscles in your hands. Over time, this provides you greater grip and dexterity. The best part? As Eugene Schwartz writes:
Recent neurological research tends to confirm that mobility and dexterity in the five motor muscles, especially in the hand, may stimulate cellular development in the brain, and so strengthen the physical instrument of thinking.
How cool is that?

#3 – Improved Math Skills

shutterstock_345057749 Knitting relies heavily on mathematics. To do it well you need to count stitches, calculate how much yarn you need and pay attention to patterns – all in your head. Spend enough time doing that and you'll find yourself with some seriously beefed-up arithmetic chops. Want proof? Schools that implement knitting in their curriculum tend to report higher math results.

#4 – Increased Focus

Lose focus while knitting and that sock suddenly becomes a closed pant leg. But even if your first few projects trail off in an unexpected direction, the more time you spend knitting, the more you'll notice your concentration improving. That's how things turned out for several hyper kids at a private school in Toronto. And let's face it – if knitting can teach hyperactive kids to focus, it'll work for anyone.

#5 – Decreased Pain

Knit For some individuals with chronic pain, knitting proves to be a powerful natural remedy. That's all thanks to the aforementioned focus, which has the ability to distract from pain. This even applies to the mental variety. Starting and finishing something independently can work wonders for those struggling with low self-esteem or trauma. I'm sure everyone on the planet can make use of that benefit from time to time.

#6 – Arthritis Prevention

According to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alton Barron, gentle use of fingers builds up bone cartilage. Knitting works much better than this for typing because it provides just the right level of strain on your fingers. With time and increased bone cartilage, people who knit find themselves much less likely to suffer from arthritis.

Want to learn more about the benefits of knitting? Check out this awesome video from We Are Knitters ENG!

https://youtu.be/ubQ29x8utQE Sources: Sacbee.com TheSpec.com EndoHope.org The Globe and Mail Maths.org New York Times

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