in ,

These 5 hobbies will make you life 10 times better (according to science)

When it comes to improving your life and being healthier, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about “positive thinking” or “yoga” for one lifetime.

If you’re looking for some practical strategies that you can use in your life today, then you’ll love this post.

It’s a science-backed list of 5 hobbies that will make you healthier, happier and more productive.

Check them out:

1) Parenting A Pet

Pets are great companions. If you’ve seen any cute dog or cat video recently, you’ll know that these little furballs are great stress-relievers.

Aside from having a new best friend, taking care of pets can help the heart in a holistic way.

In a study released by CDC, having a pet by your side does a lot of wonders for the body.

Regular exercise counts as one of the most obvious benefits, considering the opportunities for walks outside the park.

This can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and the additional endorphin you get will trigger happiness.

In fact, pet owners tend to be healthier than non-pet owners, and are more resistant to diseases due to the added movement in their lifestyle.

2) Tending A Garden

To those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, have we got good news for you.

On top of the aerobic exercise you are unknowingly performing from pulling out those weeds and planting, gardening reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack by up to 30% precisely because of this extra workout.

Believe it or not, gardening has been noted as a way to stave off dementia, with one study reporting a 36% less chance of contracting the disease for people who do gardening everyday.

This can be linked to outdoor exposure, which helps the body acquire the vitamin D it needs on a daily basis.

So the next time you need a pick-me-up, consider picking up a shovel, and start digging.

3) Dancing Alone Or With Friends

Who doesn’t like dancing? It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s incredibly accessible. You don’t have to know the moves to every Step Up movie to get moving.

All you need to do is to put on a catchy song, tap your toes, move your arms, and you’re already dancing!

There’s aimlessly flailing your arms, and then there’s real dancing: the kind where you are mindful of every step you take, of every pop and lock.

This kind of focused dancing, no matter the difficulty of the steps, can stimulate the brain. Using a conscious effort to move your body exercises the pathway between your nerves and your brain, greatly reducing the risk of dementia in adults.

As compared to other forms of exercise, dancing is easy and light on bones and muscle. Its accessibility makes it the perfect exercise for people who have mobility issues, such as the elderly.

Not only does it help promote bone and muscle strength, but it also helps with balance, preventing serious injuries from falls that can sometimes lead to death.

4) Writing Anything

All those hours spent staring at the laptop can now be put to good use. Writing is a great way to deal with stress and process strong emotions in a safe environment.

Hobbies like blogging helps with stress and boosts memory because it encourages you to actively work with your thoughts as you convert them into an essay or a blog post.

Needless to say, blogging, and writing in general, is a great tool to overcome traumatic life experiences, which has been proven to significantly reduce stress.

Interestingly, it has been linked to aid in not only emotional distress but also physical ones. A new study suggests that writing may in fact boost the healing time of physical wounds.

The study asked one group of participants to write for 20 minutes on a daily basis regarding traumatic events.

Another group was asked to write, but this time, about activities they were planning to do the next day.

The insults were more than fascinating. The study concluded that the group who had engaged in emotional writing had a significantly faster healing rate than the other group.

Biopsy reports revealed that the first group’s wounds were healed at a whooping 76%, while the latter group only had 42% of their wounds healed.

5) Listening To Music

If your idea of relaxing is not having to do anything, then music is the perfect hobby for you. All you need are nice, comfortable earpieces and you’re good to go.

Music’s beneficial effects to the brain isn’t news. It’s been known to help improve relaxation and concentration, which is why a lot of students and professionals enjoy listening to music while working.

We often hear music lovers say, “Music makes me happy”. It turns out this declarations isn’t just inspired by their love for the band.

Music does ease feeling of loneliness, depression, and helps stabilize stress and anxiety.

In fact, it makes people so happy that the brain responds to music the same way it does to sex, food, and other pleasures.

The next time you’re feeling low, maybe all you need to do is to listen to some tunes.

These five hobbies show that engaging in creative but productive work is more than essential for your general health.

You know what they say: work hard, play harder. And what better way to play other than doing activities that are good for you?

The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment (eBook)

Do you have an overactive mind?

Do you suffer from anxiety, fear or stress?

In The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment, we detail the scientific benefits to practicing mindfulness, and teach you some incredibly effective techniques to be mindful throughout the day.

This practical, evidence-based guide will help you live a more mindful life today. Check out our new eBook here.

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

World leaders propose a radical solution to sexual harassment: put more women in positions of power

The real causes of depression have been discovered, and it’s not a chemical imbalance in the brain