Hobbies make our lives better and ourselves happier. Some of them are relaxing, some are fun and adventurous, and some come with a nice bonus - they might be your key to a healthier and longer life. Certain activities have such a powerful influence on your well-being that they can add years or even decades to your lifespan. So, you can spend the best moments of your life doing something that is both healthy and entertaining. Here's our list of 6 hobbies that will help you live longer.
Gardening is an excellent hobby for all ages, especially for those enjoying the outdoors and growing their own food. It's a great way to spend some quality time in the fresh air while getting some vitamin D and moderate exercise in the process. You can enjoy your retirement with gardening as a hobby, even if you're well into your 90s. This activity not only improves our quality of life but also prolongs our life. It's good for stress relief and for maintaining a healthy diet with fruits and veggies that you can produce in your garden. Some studies even show that merely interaction with garden soil reduces the risk of auto-immune diseases. That soil is rich in natural bacteria and microorganisms, and exposure to them helps build up your immune response. Other studies have shown that gardening also helps in preventing cognitive decline and dementia.
Fast food can severely damage your health and contribute to life-shortening illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, if you make your meals yourself, you are much more likely to eat healthier as you're more conscious of what goes into your food. When people pick out food at the grocery store, they usually buy less processed, less fat, and less sugary foods than those who regularly eat out. Choosing more natural and nutritious options can help in losing excess weight, feeling more energized, and it even helps in living longer. Home-cooked meals are not only good for your overall health, but they can also help you in making the most of your budget and saving some money.
#3 Owning a pet
Owning a pet has a myriad of benefits, and it's one of the hobbies that will help you live longer. Pet owners form powerful emotional bonds with their pets. Being around a furry friend has proven to be very beneficial to overall health. That's why people who have existing heart problems are often advised to get a dog. Walking a dog helps in getting a little extra exercise each day. No matter how short that walk might be, it can play a role in improving health outcomes.
Also, some studies show that cat owners have a reduced risk of death from heart attack and stroke. In addition, having a pet helps with managing stress, increases activity, and decreases isolation and loneliness. That's especially important for older people who live without a partner or a child. You can also see that more and more hospitals and nursing homes are using pets for animal-assisted therapy, which proved to be very helpful.
Reading is often called "a workout for the brain". This hobby has numerous benefits that can even help in extending your life. A frequent reading habit protects cognitive abilities during every life stage. Most importantly, reading books helps in preventing cognitive decline and avoiding some devastating conditions in old age. Furthermore, books provide an escape into another world which proved to be very relaxing and good for soothing your nerves. As your mind is concentrated and focused on reading, the distraction will ease the tensions in your muscles and heart. In conclusion, reading will help you reduce stress, which is a significant source of health problems that shorten our lives.
#5 Listening to music
Did you know that a good melody can add years to your lifespan? Listening to music is one of the hobbies that will help you live longer. Regularly attending concerts can be very beneficial for your health and enhance the feelings of closeness to others. Just 20 minutes of listening to tunes that you enjoy can significantly uplift your sense of well-being. Listening to music boosts a feeling of self-worth and mental stimulation. All in all, such positive emotions have a profound impact on your health, so they will certainly help you live longer.
When choosing hobbies, you should always opt for ones that will improve your health. Engaging in physical activity such as walking for 15 to 45 minutes each day can reduce the chances of many illnesses. Exercising has a never-ending list of benefits. Physical workout is known to reduce stress while increasing levels of serotonin - the hormone of happiness, satisfaction, optimism, and well-being. Another advantage of exercising is that it improves cognitive acuity, which is very important for advanced age. It would be best if you found something that suits your lifestyle, such as:
- Brisk walking
In addition to all of these, balance exercises can help in preventing accidental falls. Of course, before starting any new exercising routine, you should consult with your medical care provider. That’s because there are some activities which you may want to avoid depending on your general health condition. However, there’ll always be something that you can and should do. For example, most people can benefit from low-intensity yoga exercises and combine them with meditation for even better results. Meditation will improve your focus and memory as well as energy levels. It' also a stress reliever that can help in calming your thoughts and emotions.
You should remind yourself that a hobby is not just a way to pass the time. It can also improve the quality and longevity of your life. Your retirement is a period in life when you’ll finally have “the luxury of time”. So, use that time wisely and decide to engage in hobbies that will help you live longer. That can give you a sense of self-efficacy, and it will be something to look forward to.