Hobbies are part of what makes life fun. Some of them come with a major bonus: They just might lengthen your life.
Research shows that some hobbies significantly influence your well-being— they can add years — or even decades — to your life. Money Talks News’ recent article “10 Hobbies That Can Help You Live Longer” notes that certain hobbies may increase or enhance your lifespan. Here are some hobbies for longevity:
Reading. Stress is a significant source of health problems that shorten lives. However, reading a book and escaping into another world can reduce stress levels by 68%, according to a study from the University of Sussex in England. In fact, it takes just six minutes for reading to start working its magic!
Gardening. Several studies show that the physical activity of gardening — combined with being in a lush, green atmosphere — can enhance and extend life. People in their 60s who garden lower their risk of developing dementia by 36%, according to one Australian study.
Cooking. Restaurant foods and processed goodies can ruin your health, contributing to life-shortening illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, those who make meals from scratch are much more likely to eat more healthy fare. According to researchers at the University of Washington, the more frequently you cook at home each week, the higher you’ll score on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Eating Index.
Listening to music. The University of London found that regularly attending concerts can add years to your life. They found that just 20 minutes of listening can boost your well-being by up to 21%.
Volunteering. A study published in the journal Health Psychology found that volunteering is one of the top hobbies for increasing longevity.
Walking. This can have a profound impact on your health. According to a Mayo Clinic study, those who take brisk walks might live up to 20 years longer than their couch potato counterparts. However, the researchers note that brisk walking — at least three miles per hour, or 100 steps a minute — is required to get the life-extending perks.
Owning a pet. Many studies have found that pet owners enjoy many health benefits from being around their furry friends. For example, a meta-analysis of studies published between 1950 and 2019 found that dog owners had a 24% risk reduction for death from any cause.
Dancing. This is an excellent form of exercise that can boost your heart and lungs, helping you to live longer and be in better health than otherwise might be the case. Research also has found that dancing can reduce stress levels and boost serotonin levels, making you feel better. And those aged 75 or older who dance regularly have a lower risk of deadly illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Yoga. Research has tied several health benefits to practicing yoga, such as improving your sense of balance, reducing stress, boosting mental and emotional health, and promoting better sleep. The National Institutes of Health says yoga also offers other benefits, such as helping its practitioners to lose weight and quit smoking. Hobbies that include lifestyle changes that can increase longevity.
Meditation. A study published in TheAmerican Journal of Cardiology found that people older than 55 with hypertension who engaged in transcendental meditation reduced their overall mortality by 23% over an average period of 7.6 years. Cardiovascular disease deaths dropped by 30%, and cancer deaths fell by 49%.