Knitting might not be the most preferred of fun activities in the world of today that generally devalues anything laidback and ‘plain’. The craft that it is however, there’s no doubt that knitting would continue to persist in its own old worldly charm through the ages. And in being a few of those experiences that dwell as much in the end product as it does in the process of it, knitting is an incredibly rewarding pursuit.
It helps also that knitting comes with a host of benefits. Be it on physical or mental health or even its impactful strengthening of social relationships, this is one art that employs enough science to emerge as a holistic exercise for the senses. And because it is so wholesome a craft, knitting should not and does not remain confine only to cheruby grannies or expectant mothers. The World Wide Knit in Public Day is a reinforcement of this belief that knitting should be indulged in by any and everyone for the sheer many benefits it holds, if not for anything else.
Celebrated on the 2nd Saturday of June every year since 2005, this is a day encompassing benefits for those who love to knit or at least have taken recourse to it for its amassment of advantages. Here’s listing the many benefits of knitting that could let you take a likeness for this craft in the leadup to its day of public celebration-
Calms you down
The calming effect of knitting emerges from it being a stress buster activity. Either because it distracts you from pressing life concerns or because the repetitive and rhythmic motions of knitting boost the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with calmness and well-being, this is one art that can really help you sit back and relax. Obsessive thoughts and preoccupations as well as self destructive behavior generally characterising anxietic people are warded off by knitting thereby relieving and calming down otherwise nervous minds.
Lowers heart rate and blood pressure
Because knitting can help calm down your mind, it also brings about visible changes in physical aspects of the body. Specifically such conditions that might be warranting out of stress or anxiety are set off by a few minutes of knitting. Because the tendency is generally to focussedly sit still when we knit, this can help in reducing heart rate and blood pressure levels of the body.
Also alleviates stress
While in calming you down knitting already is cutting down most of the stress, it also helps you relax and destress further. By allowing you to relax knitting lowers the level of stress induced cortisol levels of your body so that you end up feeling good. Knitting can even help soothe and reenergise a sluggish you by letting your mind find its peace and pace. Even a long, hectic day of work would be rewarding enough only if you could make the effort to pick up your knitting needles.
Delivers benefits similar to meditation
All those calming and relaxing effects that knitting endows you with derive from its essence in being almost meditative in nature. Just like in meditation, focus is the most important prerequiste of knitting. Yet in letting you go about the motions as relaxedly as you want because it is that rhythmic, the concentration demanded by knitting isn’t one that is intense. It is more of a kind of involuntary setting, that delivers all the benefits with minimal efforts. By zoning out when you indulge in a session of knitting, it helps induce a state of contented mindfulness similar to meditation or even yoga.
Enhances self esteem
Perhaps the happy, positive effects that knitting has on your mental health stem from the tangible outcome of it. Knitting something precious for your near and dear ones endows one with a warm fuzzy feeling that speaks of gratification and pride. Even if you take to the pursuit just for the sake of it, the pretty end product does well to bolster your self esteem and keep you radiant in realisation of a job well done. This satisfaction is an outcome of the dopamine release that renders you euphoric in an achievement of your own. Call it a sense of fulfillment or rejoice in the mere satisfaction of crafting something out of nowhere, knitting sure is the path to a reward of its own.
Helps improve motor functions
There is no doubt that knitting is essentially a muscle activity even more than being a pursuit of the brain. Because once your mind has registered the rhythms behind the intricacies associated with it, knitting becomes almost entirely a muscle exercise. In voluntary and compulsive use of the muscles, knitting helps you with the motor functions. Specifically for such people who are suffering from certain physical conditions that seek to restrict muscle movement, knitting can be a very benefiting endeavour. But even in perfectly healthy people, the precise movements demanded by knitting helps to keep fingers nimble and finger joints flexible.
In case of elderly people, while knitting might not be relied on to build essential motor skills, it still can help in strengthening of the same. Additionally, knitting also improves hand- eye coordination which very often tends to be a bothering factor for people as they age. As such, knitting is a holistic developer of essential life and bodily functions.
While knitting might be more an involuntary act of the brain after the first few attempts at picking up, it still does wonders to improve concentration levels. People who generally have trouble focussing on one thing for long or are somewhat fidgety can take to knitting to trade their hyperactivity levels for increased concentration. It perhaps helps that the end result of knitting is a tangible realisation, that which influence knitters to persist more resolutely in pursuit of the goal.
The impact that knitting has on an enhanced memory generally bodes well for the elderly people plagued by age related memory loss concerns. It stimulates the brain thereby keeping it healthy and impairing cognitive decline. In keeping the brain active and engaged, knitting keeps onset of dementia and other such issues at bay. Craft activities like knitting promote the development of neural pathways in the brain that help to maintain cognitive health.
Helps with cognitive learning
People who rely on cognitive anchoring as the premier form of their learning pursuit can turn to knitting for an effective learning schedule. Cognitive anchoring is the process by which learning of an activity reinforces learning of another matter. Knitting perhaps is among the best methods towards gaining through cognitive learning because it does not demand the exclusive attention of the brain after the few initial attempts.
Helps overcome addiction
In being somewhat of an addiction itself, knitting can help to overcome other more serious addictive behaviours. Smoking, drug addictions or even less harmless behaviors like compulsive snacking when idle are some lifestyle choices that can be warded off by taking to knitting. Either because it helps you keep occupied and focussed- sometimes even without you realising it, the mildly addictive activity of knitting can help overcome more serious addiction issues and lead you on the path of remarkable transformation.
What makes knitting a savvy hobby to pursue even for the new age folks is its surprising effect in burning the calories. As a broad incorporation into the realm of non-exercise physical activity, the effects of knitting in burning away the calories is fairly decent, if not profound. Because just sitting and staying still can help burn calories, knitting can play as a multiplier to that effect. In involving your upper body muscle in the exercise, knitting one hour can burn as many calories as equivalent to half an hour of light exercise.
The calorie burning properties of knitting also help us reinstate another fruitful attempt at an effort directed toward the motive of weight loss. In keeping such munching tendencies at bay that arise out of being bored or might be significant of some greater addictive disorder, knitting actually helps us work towards the end goal of weight loss in its dual incorporation of benefits.
Improves math skills
It is no unlikely discovery that the process of knitting relies on quite some techniques of mathematics and calculation to dish out an end product that is symmetrical and not morphed. Measuring and counting makes up invaluable tactics to work your magic through the craft of knitting. So much so in fact that knitting can end up sharpening your math skills! What’s more, the close reliability of knitting with math also leads to its effective employment in better explaining certain mathematical concepts. Both in sharpening your number skills and in helping you decipher concepts and techniques with greater precision owing to your sharpened skills, knitting proves to be a definite bolsterer of your number game.
Helps reduce chronic pain
Knitting is an exercise alright but it still isn’t as strenuous a physical activity. In gently prodding your fingers and muscles to go about the movement, knitting can in fact end up strengthening your hands. For people dealing with chronic pain issues, knitting can be an effective reliever of it. By putting your hands to work in such conditions that would otherwise prefer to remain still, knitting keeps them up and about for longevity and health. In prviding physical relief as well as social and mental support by keeping minds off the pain, knitting can indeed help reduce effects of such recurring conditions.