Knitting: 5 important health benefits

Knitting is a hobby that is experiencing a golden age. Although many tended to think of knitting as an activity for granny, for quite a few years it is no longer the case. Now knitting is enjoying a welcome revival and is back in fashion. Knititng is now very popular and considered a cool, trendy activity.

Seeing someone knitting on the train, in a cafè or in any other place has become a pleasant custom. In short, the passion for knitting has spread like wildfire without age limits, not only among women but also among men.

Knitting: benefits in abundance

Few people know that, besides being a fun and trendy activity, knitting offers so many health benefits that some people no longer consider it as a simple hobby, but as a real therapy. Here the reasons:

1. Knitting is relaxing and an effective anti-stress

Knitting, counting stitches and rows, touching the yarn and doing repetitive motions is an effective self-help tool to reduce stress and anxiety. The coach of Finland’s Olympic snowboard team understood it well: at the start instead of counting the seconds that are missing, the athletes count the stitches on the needles (read more here).

As if they were a mantra, the repetitive nature of knitting and purling can induce the mind easily reach a sort of meditative state. Basically after a knitting session, you are more or less in the same state of relaxation that you get when you have finished a Yoga session. It is no coincidence that BettaKnit wanted to include among its collections a line exclusively dedicated to yoga and dance clothing. In this way the lovers-of-yoga knitters and yogis who are willing to learn knitting, will have at their disposal kits, complete of everything, to create warm, light and cozy garments.

 

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2. Knitting improves mood

Do you know that knitting helps improve moods? We are often so overwhelmed by work, by thoughts, by anxiety, by everyday worries, that we forget how craft activities and manual gestures are important. In particularly delicate situations, difficult moments or depressive states, craft activities, as knitting, help to find serenity without resorting to drugs. It is well known that manual activities help the brain to free itself from thoughts, conditionings and worries, and to relieve from the sense of helplessness that people sometimes experience. To rediscover how important and useful are certain practical gestures, and how do-it-yourself is beautiful, favors the natural production of substances that promote joy, happiness and satisfaction.

Case history

An online survey, conducted through on 3,500 knittwers worldwide by British Journal of Occupational Therapy, demonstrated that the 81% of the respondents with depression had affirmed they were happy after knitting – among them more than half had said they were even “very happy”. Psychiatrists believe that focusing your energy on creating something useful with their own hands can make the dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s pleasure centers) levels rise naturally – like activities such sex, sleep, eating. If you like reading something on this subject, I would like to suggest Ann Hood’s The Knitting Circle. It is an autobiographical-inspired novel about how knitting helped a woman cope with the problem of depression. We read it and it’s a good book, we recommend it!

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3. Knitting improves concentration

Knitting stimulates the logical part of our brains and maintains us young and active. Calculating how much yarn we need, counting or the number of stitches and rows, passing the yarns from one needle to another, making sequences of equal or different stitches, are all operations that are done only if we are concentrated. This means that our mind is always well trained and active. For this reason, knitting is an activity that is good for all ages. For example, children can channel their energies into a manual activity that tends to calm, while the elderly are called to exercise their mind by doing actions that require attention and coordination.

4. Knitting boosts your self-esteem

Creating something anew by working with your own hands, is something that makes you very satisfied. In fact, when a work is completed and a objective is reached, the consideration we have of us improves considerably. If then it happens that someone shows his appreciation towards our knitting, then our efforts are rewarded and the self-esteem is boosted. Is there any greater satisfaction?

5. Knitting stimulate interpersonal relationships

In an era where every form of interaction with the others is seen as a strenuous matter, knitting is an extraordinary way to communicate and socialize. Knitting a great reason to expand your social circle by finding local groups to join. It can be an enriching experience and mentally healthy way to build friendships.

In fact, there are numerous knitters groups in the world that meet together (even virtually) to knit together, with a continuous exchange of advice and suggestions. In all cities there are events and workshops, and knit cafes and meeting places host daily groups of passionate knitters. Chatting together, in front of a cup of good tea or coffee, they carry on their knit together. But not only. The cohesion in these groups is such that often they knit for charity projects. Don’t you find all this exciting?

We stop here, even if there are many more good reasons to knit.

We believe that these listed benefit are enough to tell you why you should keep at it, or if you’re a newbie, why you should learn to knit!

This post is also available in: Italian