Knitting has long been viewed as an enjoyable pastime that results in cute accessories such as mittens. However, learning how to knit also offers many benefits that promote overall wellbeing. Whether a senior is looking for a new hobby or just needs a few reasons to revive his or her love for knitting, these six benefits make picking up a ball of yarn well worth it.
1. Enter a State of Relaxation
Once seniors have mastered the basic stitches, they can rely on body memory to complete most projects. As their fingers handle the bulk of the work, seniors can enter something similar to a meditative state. Since repetition allows the mind to relax, seniors enjoy a simple way to ease stress.
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2. Gain a Sense of Accomplishment
Finishing a knitting project gives seniors something tangible they can show off to their family and friends. Seniors can choose a small project for an instant boost, or they can choose a longer one that generates a tremendous sense of accomplishment when they are done.
3. Keep Joints Limber
The movements involved with knitting build cartilage in the joints and fingers that staves off arthritis. Seniors who already have arthritis symptoms can reduce joint stiffness and pain through knitting because it keeps the cartilage limber. Those with severe arthritis can also use special knitting needles and chunky yarn to create projects.
4. Enjoy Sharing the Skill
To children, knitting looks magical, and it is common for younger members of the family to ask their senior loved ones to show them how to knit. Older adults benefit from knowing they can pass a skill down to future generations. Spending time showing a grandchild how to knit also provides seniors with a social opportunity that increases their emotional wellbeing.
5. Reduce Blood Pressure
Focusing on a knitting project allows seniors to sit down and relax for a few minutes. Not only can this induce a state of relaxation, but the stress relief also has physical benefits. As seniors knit, the heart rate slows down and blood pressure lowers. Over time, the reduced anxiety and lower blood pressure provides long-term health benefits such as preventing heart disease.
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6. Boost Cognitive Functioning
Seniors must find ways to stimulate their brains to prevent age-related memory loss or dementia. Knitting is full of new skills for seniors to learn, such as using multiple needles or discovering a new way to do a stitch. Each project is also different, which provides seniors with a constant stream of ways to introduce novel concepts to their minds. Whether they choose to make a pair of mittens or a lovely blanket, the brain stimulation involved prevents seniors from experiencing cognitive decline in their later years.
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