By Kathy Penner
Daily physical and intellectual activity is essential for good health. Benefits include less chronic pain, reduced depression, slowed onset of dementia, and much more. But some activities become challenging when sight or strength are diminished.
The good news is that knitting delivers many health benefits without stressing your system.
Knit for Peace, a UK charity, published a report based on hundreds of studies analyzing the benefits of knitting. One key conclusion was that knitting stimulates neural connections in the brain, helping preserve brain function and reducing the chances of developing mild cognitive impairment. Knitting also induces a state of calm, lowering the heart rate.
Furthermore, the report notes, “Knitting is a sociable activity that helps overcome isolation … too often a feature of old age.”
So if it’s been awhile since you last knit, dig up those needles! For beginners, there are YouTube tutorials or, even better, have someone teach you. You may end up with a cozy scarf and a new friend!
And now that you’re knitting, how about some bed socks?
Does ‘a certain someone’ often suggest that wearing socks to bed is somehow unhealthy? Or that it’s just unattractive?
Well, the good news is that if you can’t sleep without socks, science is on your side.
A 2007 study suggested that wearing socks in bed helps people fall asleep faster. Warming the feet makes blood vessels dilate, causing heat to be released through the skin. Decreasing body temperature tells the brain it’s bedtime, resulting in sleepiness.
As for bed socks being a turnoff—a small 2005 study investigating brain responses during sex determined that having warm feet greatly increased sexual pleasure for both men and women!
Those preferring not to wear socks can try warm foot baths before bedtime or placing a blanket over the foot of the bed.