Knit Your Way into a Smaller Size

One of My Recent Creations

One of My Recent Creations

I have been considering bringing knitting into my weight loss groups.  An article about the benefits of knitting has me even more convinced that this would be a great idea!

It seems obvious that knitting and other hand crafts reduce stress and keep one’s hands occupied, making it easier to avoid mindless eating and stress-related overeating, but did you know that research shows other important eating related benefits?  For instance, knitting appears to help people with eating disorders – not surprising, since anxiety is often a large part of the problem.

The article mentions that “some people find that craftwork helps them control their weight.  Just as it is challenging to smoke while knitting, when hands are holding needles and hooks, there’s less snacking and mindless eating out of boredom.”  Knitting makes mindfulness feel natural.  The focus is on the project at hand.

Knitting is great for self-esteem too, at least once the activity feels more natural.  I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction out of looking at what I have made from a simple ball of yarn.

From a health standpoint, knitting lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, all of which are related to the stress response.  I am particularly encouraged to learn that it is also a great way to hold off a decline in mental capabilities later in life.  My father battled Alzheimer’s for more than a decade, so this risk is always in the back of my mind.  Interestingly “people who read newspapers or magazines or played music did not show similar benefits.”

It may be just the winter diversion you were looking for!  For patterns, there is no need to buy books anymore.  In the age of technology, there is a great site for patterns.  Starting with a scarf is an easy way to learn the basics, and at least here in Wisconsin, it will come in very handy until at least April!



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