A hobby is a regularly undertaken activity that is done for pleasure, typically, during one’s leisure time.  Hobbies can include: the collection of themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, along with many more examples.  A hobby can be something as simple as working crossword puzzles, or playing (or making) with model cars or toy trains.  It can also be as simple as taking photos and organizing them into albums.  Scrapbooking is another popular hobby.

Adults with hobbies that exercise their brains – such as reading, jigsaw puzzles or chess – are two-and-a-half times less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease, while leisure limited to TV watching may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 2001).  Hobbies can enhance both cognitive and memory skills as well.  In fact, studies reveal that people who cultivate themselves through such activities are less likely to suffer from anxieties, rage, depression,  and other negative feelings.  The brain is an organ just like every other organ in the body.  It ages by how it is used.  Just as physical activity strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, intellectual activity strengthens the brain against disease.

There are eight reasons why having a hobby is important:

  1. As a remedy for fatigue.  A hobby is the easiest way to restore your balance whenever you are over-worked or stressed.
  2. As a chance to connect with yourself.  Hobbies give you a chance to explore yourself through your hobby.
  3. As an alternative career option.
  4. As a life-long pleasure.  Don’t wait until you retire to pursue hobbies.  If you start young, the hobby can extend into retirement.
  5. As an independent and intrinsic source of pleasure.  Instead of depending on external sources for pleasure and entertainment, a hobby is something you can do with an urge from within yourself.
  6. As a means to discover and re-discover your talents
  7. As a chance to meet people of similar taste/interests
  8. As a chance to share with others.

Freedom Resource Center offers a chance to explore different activities that can help you discover your talents and interests through Freedom in Action.  For more information on Freedom In Action, call you local Freedom Resource Center office or the Fargo office at 1-800-450-0459.

Next week’s Freedom Friday will explore and explain a variety of possible hobbies/leisure time activities.