3 Health Benefits of Knitting

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Why You Should Choose Knitting Needles Over Netflix!

According to Carrie and Alton Barron, M.D.s, knitting does not only promote cognitive function, but also hand health. Together, they have written a book on the subject: The Creativity Cure: How to Build Happiness with Your Own Two Hands

Carrie Barron, a psychiatrist and avid knitter suspects that the recent surge in the number of knitters, is a response to the rise in technology.

While television can engage people from the outside, the mind requires stimulation from within in order to “free associate” or think imaginatively, she said.

#1: Knitting Can Keep Cognitive Decline at Bay

According to a 2011 study by the Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, knitting during middle age, when combined with watching less TV, decreased the odds of later cognitive impairment memory loss with as much as 30 to 50 percent.

#2: Knitting Can Keep You Mentally Healthy

In a previous article, we wrote about how knitting can keep you mentally healthy, and a survey published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy confirms this. When 3,500 knitters where asked in a survey to describe their mood before and after a knitting session.

Before the knitting session …

” … 34 percent reported feeling “happy” and 23 percent reported being “a little sad” to “very sad.” When asked to report their mood post-knitting, less than 1 percent remained sad and 81 percent described themselves as “a little happy” to “very happy.”

 If you are feeling stressed or anxious, reaching for the knitting needles may be a good idea:

Using your hands meaningfully triggers healthy engagement and activity in about 60 percent of your brain, said Alton Barron. The rhythmic, mathematical nature of knitting and crocheting keep the mind absorbed in a healthy way, providing an escape from stressful thoughts but allowing for internal reflection, said Carrie Barron.

#3 Knitting Helps Prevent Arthritis

Just like you have to use your brain to keep it healthy, you have to use your joints to keep them healthy as well. Knitting can be a great a great workout for not just your fingers, but also your hands and forearms.

Moving the joints of the fingers forces fluid to move in and out of the surrounding, sponge-like cartilage, keeping the joints well-hydrated and minimizing the risk of arthritis, he said.

“If you let a joint sit, not only will it get stiff, but the actual cartilage will lose its structural integrity and break down,” he said. “Most of us grow up thinking the more you use something the more it wears out, but that’s not the case with cartilage.”

If you already have arthritis, Dr. Barron recommends that you soak  your hands in some warm water before picking up your needles. Using larger needles will also help as they are easier to hold.

Source: Sacbee.

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