Sewing, knitting and needlepoint has been for centuries a necessary skill . Recent studies and observations highlight the mental and physical benefits of knitting (and other needle work), among older individuals. Senior citizens, as it turns out, benefit a lot from knitting. There are both physical and mental benefits that every aging individual should be looking for.
Health Benefits of knitting:
· Exercising Cerebral Hemispheres: The simple act of passing the thread through the needle requires coordination and dexterity. Also, the artistic vision, the mental work required to follow patterns and directions, all contribute to greater mental sharpness.
· Reducing Stress: Whether you are alone or with friends (many people meet in parks and each other’s homes to knit and sew together) knitting is a great way to reduce stress. The rhythmic movements, the mental preoccupation all have a calming effect. Also, it can be done while talking or even riding the bus.
· Improving manual dexterity: Teaching kids to knit and sew will help develop their small muscle movements and dexterity. Older individuals often suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other motor movement issues. The repetitive and generally low impact of knitting can provide both neurological exercise (as our motor movement neurons fire) and physical exercise as our fingers move.
· Improved self-esteem: As individuals age, they tend to lose their sense of self-worth. When you knit, you actually make something useful for others. It is more than just a hobby as you can see the fruits of your labors enjoyed and used by others.