Making things with your own bare hands has been the way people have survived for age, but did you know it’s actually healthy for you?

Instead of doing it for survival, today’s technologies allow us to knit and craft just for a hobby.

But beyond being a hobby, knitting can save you pain and grief as you age. Ready?

Here are seven surprising health benefits of knitting.

1. It lowers heart rate and blood pressure
Relaxing lowers the stress hormone in your body, which is normally harmful to your heart. By knitting you allow your body to take a break from the stresses of life, and so your heart and blood pressure thank you.

2. It keeps your fingers nimble
Because it requires small, precise movements, it’s great for keeping your joints flexible and toned. Keeping your fingers moving regularly helps people with mobility issues get over their arthritis.

knit

3. It improves math skills
You don’t even need to do any equations! Knitting is all about counting, measuring and finding the pattern — all math skills. Even though it’s subconscious, it still strengthens your math skills.

4. It calms anxiety
It’s not just physically relaxing, it also helps your mental state. It lets you meditate and pause life for a moment, which is the best way to fight anxiety.

5. It sharpens memory
This is similar to the math improvement, but in knitting you need to keep track of what you’re doing so you don’t miss a stitch. It makes your brain rely on its memory, which makes it stronger.

Sock Knitting

6. It helps manage pain
By shifting your focus, knitting can actually take away from the pain you may be feeling. But it’s not just physical pain, it also works on clinical depression and eating disorders.

7. It reduces unnecessary eating
If your fingers are occupied, you can’t eat junk food! You can improve your diet simply by making yourself busy.