With the New Year in full swing, now is the perfect time to think about new hobbies to take up that will keep you busy and on track with maintaining your joint health this year. Not only can new hobbies give you something to look forward to, but the right ones can help get you moving and/or challenge your brain – both of which are key when it comes to maintaining optimal wellness as we age. We asked our founder, Dr. Robert Dean, to share what he recommends for his patients living with knee, hip pain when it comes to new hobbies.
“Taking up new hobbies is a great way to stay physically and mentally fit as we get older,” says Dr. Dean. “It can also help break up your typical routine and give you something new to look forward to. For individuals with chronic joint pain, it’s important to choose activities that focus on low impact movement that helps relieve tension and pain and balancing that with mental challenges for brain health.”
New Hobbies for Mental Health
Join or Start a Book Club
Book Clubs are a great way to make socialization part of your routine while encouraging you to read new books to keep your mind active and engaged. Check with friends and neighbors to see if there’s an existing club that’s a good match for you. If not, start one yourself by inviting close friends and assigning everyone different roles for each meeting.
This is a great way to stay active while giving back to your local community. From animal shelters to food banks to clothing drives, many neighborhoods offer a variety of volunteer opportunities so you can pick what matches your personal passions. It’s also a great way to meet new people and make new friends along the way.
Whether you are an experienced writer or a novice, journaling is a wonderful way to get your express your thoughts, worries, and hopes in a format that you can revisit and even share with others. If you are a seasoned writer looking to return to your craft, journaling is a great way to write out your ideas and flesh them out for your next creative project.
New Hobbies for Joint Health
Join or Start a Walking Group
There’s really no better low-impact exercise than walking! It gets you outside and moving without putting additional strain on your joints. That said, walking is often made better when shared with friends! Check with your friends and neighbors to see if there’s an existing walking group that you can join; if not, why not start one yourself? Even when the weather is chilly, walking is a great way to get exposed to fresh air and sunlight which can have a positive impact on your mood and even help you sleep better at night.
When the temperatures drop, swimming may not seem like the most appealing hobby – but you can take it indoors and experience all of the health benefits of this challenging, low-impact workout. If you are a seasoned swimmer, look for an indoor pool with individual lap lanes and challenge yourself to increase your time little by little (but always listening to your body and taking it easy when needed). If you are new to swimming, look into a class or an area suitable for beginners.
Yoga is an excellent low-impact exercise that helps promote strength, flexibility, and mind/body balance! Whether you choose an in-person class in your neighborhood or an at-home streaming program, it’s easy to get started and slowly build up your endurance over time. Yoga can also help those with chronic joint pain to build up strength in key areas of the body with minimal impact on the affected joints. And, it’s known to help promote an overall sense of wellbeing, calm, and improved mental health.
Which hobby will you take on in 2022? With these options, you don’t have to pick just one!
If you are living with chronic knee, hip, or shoulder pain that’s preventing you from daily tasks and activities, you can complete the form below to request your free consultation with Dr. Dean to see if you are a candidate for AROmotion, which has helped more than 2,000 patients stop their joint pain fast without surgery.