Hobbies are things you do for pleasure or fun. Hobbies take place outside of work, when your time is your own and you usually don’t get paid for doing it. Many people discard hobbies as something they would consider if only they had the time.

It turns out that a hobby can be much more than just a way to have fun or kill time. A hobby has a number of benefits. For example, a hobby can be your outlet for creativity. Privis Health, your provider of healthcare data analytics, offers you several reasons you may want to engage in a hobby.

Create Balance

A hobby can add balance to your life, which is very important if you are spending way too much time working. Studies have shown that enjoying a hobby in your free time will actually boost your productivity at work. These findings have led companies to offer creative outlets for their employees.

Health Benefits

In addition to adding balance to your life, hobbies have been proven to be healthy as well. Hobbies boost cognitive skills and mental function and can help you quit bad habits. For example, there are people who give up smoking for painting or knitting.

There are many hobbies that are great ways to get exercise, like biking for example.

Taking time to pursue the things you enjoy can recharge your batteries and leave you refreshed in a way that is similar to a good night’s sleep. Here are a few hobbies that offer plenty of benefits.

Do the Mambo

Not only is dancing fun, it comes with a number of benefits. You know that when you dance, you are getting quite a physical workout. Dancing also increases levels of serotonin and relieves stress. Another benefit if dancing is that it increases cognitive acuity, which means it makes you a smarter person.

Tickle the Ivories

Playing a musical instrument like the piano or, perhaps, the guitar, can increase cognitive development. It also helps you to polish up on your eye-hand coordination and fine-motor skills.

Here is the kicker; playing a musical instrument will actually raise your IQ by about seven points. Hearing this makes you want to go out and buy a tuba or accordion.

Get Creative

We are willing to bet that you were pretty masterful with a crayon back in the day. You would sip your milk, take a short nap and then embark on a picture that your parents absolutely loved. You were also quite handy with glitter and some Elmer’s glue.

You loved art when you were a child and would jump at the chance to do anything creative. But that was a long time ago and now you would rather stay glued to the television screen watching shows on Netflix.

Get off that couch and get some basic art supplies and get creative. Whether you paint, sculpt or even create a video for YouTube, anything you do is better than flipping channels all evening.

Flip Through a Book

Reading is so much more than just absorbing a great story. Reading teaches your mind to focus, sharpens comprehension and improves your vocabulary. Reading also boosts your brain power. Reading gives your brain a workout.

Additionally, studies have shown that reading reduces stress and helps you get a better night’s sleep.

Grow Something

It should be of little surprise that gardening is a hobby with several benefits. For starters, planting seeds, pulling weeds and harvesting your goods are all great ways to get exercise. Spending time in your flower garden is a great way to relax and chill.

Gardening also puts you at one with nature, which benefits your mental health. Best of all, the fresh vegetables and fruit you grow in your garden is a healthy alternative to anything you prepare from a box.

Cooking

What is the use of planting a garden and harvesting a small crop of fresh carrots, asparagus and tomatoes if you don’t know how to cook? Learning to cook nutritious meals is an obvious benefit to your health. Cooking is also an excellent way to bond with your family as well.

Yoga

Yoga is beneficial to anyone at any age or fitness level. Yoga boosts energy, increases strength and promotes circulatory health. Yoga is also a great way to practice mindfulness, which makes you more productive and less stressed.

Writing

You might be wondering the health benefits of sitting in front of a laptop, sipping coffee while typing out words. Well, writing has been linked to improved memory, lower stress levels and better sleep.

Researchers found that people who write about traumatic life experiences heal better from these wounds. But overall, writing is a great tool for self-expression. And while writing is cathartic, it can also benefit you in social environments if the public is reading what you create.

As a pioneer in healthcare delivery reform, Privis Health develops and implements innovative population health management programs. Contact us for details.