Hobbies and Health

Through their relationship with leisure and physical exercise, hobbies can help care for our health, preventing diseases and improving physical and mental health. Also, keep in mind that some hobbies can carry certain risks.

Hobbies can significantly promote health, helping to prevent physical illnesses, improving or avoiding psychological problems, including stress, and helping control certain diseases. They can also enhance the overall quality of life, which is linked to better health.

Despite what has been said, there is not much data that shows that hobbies specifically help prevent diseases because it is a little-studied topic. But many hobbies are related to physical exercise, which has clearly been shown to be one of the elements that most influence the prevention of diseases, especially heart and circulation. On the other hand, hobbies are a part of leisure, and it has also been seen that, in a certain way, the excellent use of peace can help improve health.


Physical activity or exercise (organized physical activity), practiced regularly, has beneficial effects on different aspects of health. A sedentary lifestyle, on the contrary, is detrimental to health.

This beneficial effect significantly concerns cardiovascular diseases and mortality (mainly due to these diseases). Physical exercise, even moderate, can improve outcomes in people with diabetes, obese people, and people with osteoporosis (reduces the risk of hip fractures) and may reduce the risk of dementia or cognitive impairment, stroke, and even certain types of cancer. Physical exercise helps prevent the development of obesity and high blood pressure, two of the main modifiable risk factors for poor health.

Moderate physical activity is considered: walking fast, about 5-8 km/h, cycling, swimming, playing golf, or mowing the lawn (and general house cleaning). Vigorous activity is done with exercises such as running or weight training.

Generally, at least 3 hours of moderate exercise or an hour and a half of intense activity per week is recommended. Still, even less exercise is also beneficial—the lower the training, the greater its health benefit. The healthiest exercise is aerobic, such as walking, running, or cycling (an example of the other type of exercise, anaerobic or resistance, is lifting weights or explosive hitting the ball in tennis).

Physical activities that require more effort are, for example, running faster than 7.8 km/h, playing tennis, fast swimming, cross-country skiing, cycling shorter than 19 km/h, intense gymnastics, or dancing. The modModerate is achieved by running at about 6 km/h, playing doubles tennis, walking at more than 5.5 km/h, swimming calmly, playing golf, or exercising in a gym. Lower-intensity exercise is done by leisurely strolling, light gymnastics, or bowling. In any case, it has been shown that gentle exercise such as group walks improves health aspects such as blood pressure, heart rate, or cholesterol.

Summary of the recommendations of the WHO, the Ministry of Health, and the US Health Service on physical exercise for adults.

1- At least 150 min. of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous or intense aerobic exercise or an equivalent combination.
2- Aerobic activity should be performed at least in 10-minute bursts.
3- For additional health benefits, perform up to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 150 minutes of intense exercise, or an equivalent combination.
4-Moderate to extreme muscle strengthening activities should be performed in all muscle groups two or more times a week

Furthermore, those older than 65
– People with poor mobility should do balance exercises for three or more days to avoid falls.
-Muscle strengthening activities should be performed on two or more days.
-If older adults cannot follow physical exercise recommendations due to health limitations, they should try to maintain as much physical activity as possible.

In children aged 5 to 17 years, at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per day, spread over one or more periods, and, in addition, at least three days per week of active activities and muscle strengthening activities are also recommended.

Children aged 3-5 years are recommended to be physically active throughout the day.

There are also numerous studies on the effect of physical exercise on mental health; Although it is not so clear that, as in physical activity, it has a preventive effect, it can help people who are previously stressed, anxious or depressed.

Physical exercise is also beneficial in older people, even those over 85. It is considered the only element to reduce the deterioration of general functioning in the elderly. It improves muscle strength, agility, and mobility and reduces the risk of falls and the risk of various diseases such as cardiovascular, stroke, cancer, and mortality. Moderate to intense exercise – not just any activity – improves mental capacity (attention, memory, mental agility), and its preventive effect on cognitive decline and dementia is possible but not fully proven.

The type of exercise for the elderly must be adapted to their lower capacity compared to younger people. Even in older residents in nursing homes, it has been shown that physical activity improves various aspects of health, so it is recommended that these people try to reduce their sedentary activity and exercise more.

About children and young people, it is interesting to note that, given that they must exercise daily, the Ministry of Health recommends promoting, on the one hand, daily tasks, on the other, school physical education activities, spontaneous games, and, most interesting for us, DIRECTED PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES IN FREE TIME, such as going to dance class, gymnastics, swimming or training in a sports team or participating in a classroom of activities in nature.

Regarding sports, one of the primary forms of physical exercise, it has been proven beneficial for physical and psychological health, especially club or team sports and sports practiced as a hobby. Sports improve health if they are related to pleasure rather than competition. In young people, sport improves self-esteem and social integration and decreases the incidence of depression.

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