The powerful effects of woodworking for seniors
Hobbies are important to have. Besides having more to look forward to in your day, it also has the benefit of keeping stress at bay. Now, there are many factors that contribute to stress, which in turn also lead to a myriad of health problems especially when it’s chronic. As a senior, who may or may not be retired, one is not automatically exempt from it, but the sources may just be different. Having a hobby will help reduce this undesired effect by challenging the mind in varying degrees and potentially making connections with people who understand—woodworking is a hobby you can get on, and is just one of the few to reap many benefits besides being a money saver!
Physical activity helps keep stress under control. Guess what? Woodworking is a low-impact exercise. Sure, it involves a bit of lifting and maybe a little walking around, but carving while seated can also lead to shedding calories (generally, all activities related to carpentry do). If you hate physical exertion but grow to enjoy woodworking, then the hobby becomes more ideal: being in tip-top shape will be a breeze.
It’s not all physical because the mind is taken care of as well. Researchers from Mayo Clinic found that engaging in the crafts such as woodworking will promote a healthier memory and decrease chances of having a mild cognitive problem that may lead to dementia by at least 45%. And no, the researchers didn’t follow adults who started the hobby earlier in their lives, the 256 people they monitored were all over 85. The point here? It’s never too late to be interested in woodworking.
Mental health problems can be just as big a problem as cognitive decline, and these, too, can be a cause of stress. Thankfully though, woodworking can alleviate the pain caused by such issues because it soothes the nerves and gives one reason to be proud for creating something that can be useful and lasting. Woodworking is not the complete solution, just to be clear, but its therapeutic effect can make each day more rewarding. Plus, it can add more things that are of value to either you or your community.
Finally, woodworking can lead to fulfilling relationships, which can lessen stress. Carving wood does not have to be done alone, as seniors can join classes in care facilities that bring together both pros and amateurs. All you have to do is simply reach out to ones nearest you. If you don’t have your tools, then this is something to bond over with fellow beginners. If woodworking has been a long love of yours, then you may get even more from volunteering.
Don’t ever underestimate the satisfaction derived from imparting your knowledge on a topic when you’re an expert! And who knows, these may lead to friendships that can exist outside the workshop. Classes provide plenty of chance for social interactions to prevent loneliness, and if you need more convincing, being socially active decreases the likelihood of cognitive decline by 55%.
Photo by Will Suddreth on Unsplash