Many of us enjoy hobbies which help us to feel good and enjoy ourselves, whilst taking away from the stress of our daily duties. New research has shown that singing in a choir could boost our health, especially for those suffering from diseases such as cancer. With many other hobbies proving to have excellent benefits for our health, it could be time to give something new a try.

 

Singing in a choir

A study reported by the Centre for Performance Science found that singing as part of a choir could improve your health. They found that singing for just an hour a week in a choir could not only reduce stress levels, but boost immunity too. Many people who sing in choirs say that they feel uplifted and happier after they have sung, making it a great way to distract from any symptoms or pain.

 

Learning a new language

As we get older, it’s important for us to keep learning in order to keep our minds sharp and to improve our memories. One of the ways we can do this as well as equip ourselves with an additional skill is to learn another language. Studies have shown that learning two or more languages can boost our cognitive process, which can help to stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, whilst also improving our ability to make decisions and perceptions.

 

Exercise

There are many benefits to exercise as we know, but certain types of exercise can offer additional benefits, especially as we get older. Yoga for example is an exercise which can help improve your flexibility, help you sleep better and improve your concentration. Swimming is an exercise which works the majority of your muscle groups, but is gentler on your joints than running or more intense aerobic exercise. With these sorts of exercises, you can take them at your own pace and build up your fitness gradually. Exercise in a class or group can also be beneficial to your health as it provides a social element and helps to boost your confidence too.

 

Cooking

Taking up cooking is a hobby which will not only expand the range of meals you cook, but will help you to eat healthier as well. Whether you’re learning a new type of cuisine or simply how to make your favourite meals from scratch, you’ll be sure to enjoy much healthier meals than those you’d pick up in the supermarket. As you grow more confident in your cooking abilities, you can experiment with different dishes and ingredients, allowing you to tailor meals according to your diet as well as being able to lose weight through cutting out additional sugar and fat content from your meals.

 

Gardening

Too many of us are guilty of spending our free time slumped on the sofa engrossed in the TV, but it’s important to get outside every now and then not only to enjoy some fresh air but to help us feel refreshed. Gardening makes an excellent hobby for your health as it encourages you to get outside, helps improve your strength, cardio as well as your flexibility, whilst making you feel good too. If you don’t have a garden, there may be someone with reduced mobility nearby who would love a helping hand, as well as community allotments which are great for growing fruit and vegetables, going even further to provide you with health benefits.

Finding a nice distraction from our everyday lives can help to ease stress and help us find a good balance in our lives, and if your hobby comes with extra health benefits too – you’re certainly onto a winner. The BBC’s iWonder Guide to singing in a choir provides a great read, and may provide you with the inspiration you need to start a healthy hobby of your own.