How Can Fitness Improve Your Ability To Enjoy Other Hobbies?

How Can Fitness Improve Your Ability To Enjoy Other Hobbies?

Published - 14th Feb

People who engage in leisure activities, including hobbies, generally have lower blood levels, less stress, and a smaller waist circumference, according to a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Despite the fact that hobbies are known to be beneficial, many people lack the motivation to get out and pursue them - in other words, the biggest impediment to a rich and varied life, can be psychological. There is one pursuit - fitness - that can actually help enrich your enjoyment of other hobbies, including arts and crafts, science and technology.

Fitness Is A Natural Stress Buster

One thing that can keep one too many an athlete, artist or budding scientist at home is stress. The two most common mental conditions on a global scale - anxiety and depression - can be triggered by stress, and one of the most common symptoms of these conditions is the loss of interest in the things that used to give one pleasure, including hobbies. Numerous studies have shown that exercise can help. One study undertaken at the University of Maryland found that physical activity helps people cope with anxiety and stress for an extended period of time after every workout - which is great news if you have plans to take part in a leisure activity afterwards.

Exercise Can Inspire Other Abilities

If you love outdoor exercise and your hobby involves the fine arts, then you probably know that what you see when you are out on a jog, enjoying a swim or riding horseback, provides rich inspiration for a plethora of artworks. If you love animals, for instance, you can learn the basics of drawing horses, using your favorite horse as inspiration. If you do outdoor yoga at the park, why not paint or sketch a flower that has caught your eye? The living things you encounter while getting your heart racing can even fulfil a dual purpose. That is, they can be both a form of getting exercise and the subject of your artwork - horses are probably the perfect example of how form and functionality can go hand in hand.

Exercise Keeps Your Brain Active

Many hobbies - for instance, computer programming, game design and writing - rely on your cognitive abilities, and exercise is key for keeping yours in optimal condition. A recent study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that cardiovascular exercise - including walking, running, biking and swimming (anything that gets your heart working) - can help increase grey matter in the brain, thereby boosting cognitive ability and brain health. "This is another piece of the puzzle showing physical activity and physical fitness is protective against age-related cognitive decline," said lead researcher, Michael Joyner, MD. Another study undertaken by members of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology found that physical fitness is linked to improved memory and problem-solving, as well as positive structural changes in the brain.

Hobbies are an important way to do what you love, keep stress down, and feel greater life satisfaction. However, a combination of a lack of time and motivation can sometimes keep you away from fulfilling hobbies. Time is a treasure that can be hard to come by, but motivation is something you can easily work on by embracing fitness in your life. Aim for at least half an hour a day, and you may just feel more motivated and energetic than ever before.

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