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Knit Knitting can be this healthy

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We have been knitting for generations. Even today, handicraft is popular with young and old. Experts explain why knitting is so good for us.

As of: 09/25/2019

Even in elementary school, handicrafts such as knitting and crocheting are brought closer to you. What was a must back then and led to strangely shaped trivets or scarves is now a hobby again that not only grandmothers pursue. And that's good.

What many did not know: Knitting is actually healthy. And those who have already knitted themselves know the feeling of calm that comes over you when you have knitted the first five rows. Bettina Kuhnert, Board member of the German Association of Occupational Therapists, explains that there is a rhythmic sequence of movements when knitting. This means that the focus is on "doing" and the sequence of movements and the body can relax. In fact, it makes a difference whether you are learning to knit or whether you have been doing this manual work for a longer time and in a more well-trained manner. At the beginning you are still too busy with the course of action and any patterns, which you automate the longer you pursue this hobby.

Those who knit become calmer and relax.

Betsan Corkhill, Author of "Get healthy and happy with knitting"and feel-good coach, attributes the calming effect of knitting to the fact that you have to work with both hands. You are more deeply involved in handicrafts and can focus less on problems. When you knit, you are so distracted that you become yourself no longer worrying about annoying problems.
It even goes so far that people with anxiety attacks have been given knitting utensils. As soon as they got scared, they sat down and started knitting, like this Corkhill. This helped those affected to master the situation and gain control over themselves.

Knitting is something special.

Specialist and occupational therapist Bettina Kuhnert thinks knitting is a special occupation for two reasons. Knitting is a hobby that you pursue for a long time, i.e. over several years. On top of that, you will be rewarded with a beautiful end product. The second reason is that, with a little practice, knitting can become an automated process. Bettina Kuhnert mentions knitting in the same breath as swimming, cycling or tying ribbons - activities that we usually no longer unlearn.

"Automated activities have the charm that we have our heads completely free during the activity: for conversations, for dreaming, for creative ideas."

Bettina Kuhnert, specialist and occupational therapist

Knitting is not a panacea.

There are rumors that knitting is also helpful for people with dementia. It has not been proven that way. Mrs Professor Doctor Iris-Katharina Penner from the Center for Applied Neurocognition and Neuropsychological Research in Düsseldorf also grants knitting a meditative and stress-relieving effect. Of course, something happens in the brain when we do knitting or crocheting. You concentrate, you have the knitting needles in your hand and you move them, a motor process. You may be planning a new pattern at the same time, which will activate some parts of the brain.

"If you imagine that now in a very striking way, the whole brain would actually be active."

Prof. Dr. Iris-Katharina Penner

Knitting fills our cognitive reserve. Here we store all the things that we have already done in our lives. Books that we have read, languages ​​that we have learned, instruments or pieces of music that we have learned and also handicrafts that we have learned and practiced. The bigger and plumper this "life rucksack" is, the bigger our buffer against neurodegeneration is, like that Professor Penner.

Knitting as a creative act.

Of course, it makes a difference whether you knit the same pot holder every day or always new things. If you see knitting as a creative act, where you think about something new, where you try out a new pattern, where you have to keep checking the stitches, then that does a lot to the brain because you have to concentrate all the time, like that Prof. Dr. Iris-Katharina Penner.

"The fact that you actively do something, produce something that you also control yourself, of course, benefits the brain."

Prof. Dr. Iris-Katharina Penner

Pay attention to breaks when knitting.

Still, you shouldn't knit for hours. It is important to take a break from time to time, to get up, stretch your legs and allow your fingers to rest. Betsan Corkhill advises taking a break every 20 minutes, as long periods of sitting are also unhealthy.

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BAVARIA 1

Knitting is good for us! We'll get the knitting needles out right now!
More information here: https://www.br.de/radio/bayern1/stricken-100.html Posted by BAYERN 1 on Tuesday, September 24, 2019