Knit one, pearl two, brain power, we love you! Sudoku and other paper puzzles aren’t the only activities that can help keep your neurons firing as you age. Knitting and other crafting activities have also been linked with a reduced risk of cognitive impairment. The calming, meditative effects of knitting have been shown to reduce stress, but there may be additional benefits as well. Knitting and other creative crafting activities also require the use of multiple parts of the brain, which may help keep you sharp. And don’t think it’s ever too late to learn or re-learn. Pshaw! Until relatively recently, conventional medical “wisdom” held that we couldn’t generate new brain cells, but we now know better. Research has shown that our nervous systems have endless “neuroplasticity,” meaning that they continue to form new connections and patterns throughout our entire lives. Find a knitting class or a friend who’s willing to teach you. If you’re an old hand at knitting or crocheting, challenge yourself with new patterns and skills. And with every click of your needles, imagine your brain cells doing a little happy dance.
“Knitting not only relaxes me, it also brings a feeling of being at home.” Magdalena Neuner