Hobbies are a way to spend your free time, break away from your daily activities and engage in something enjoyable. Creating a list of hobbies could take a long time because the possibilities are endless. But for most of us, low finances and opportunities mean that we’ve had to come up with new low-cost hobbies to try. The hobbies you choose to take up can be as varied as your tastes and preferences. They could range from the creative to the academic to the sporty.
The benefits of hobbies
Our busy lives make it hard to carve out time for hobbies, but they can be incredibly good for your well-being. When you spend time doing something you love, you’ll find yourself letting go of stress and feeling refreshed.
People who make time for hobbies are less likely to have episodes of stress, impaired emotional health, or suffer from depression. The major benefits associated with having hobbies are:
Hobbies offer an outlet to keep yourself busy while letting you relax. They allow you the chance to enjoy personal time and release the stress that accumulates in a day. A study conducted by the Australian Psychological Society highlighted that hobbies were one of the factors leading to a more satisfied life.
Boost in creativity and wellbeing
Creative pursuits such as drawing, playing music, and knitting among others are known to improve your mood. Pursuing creative hobbies has been shown to result in an upward spiral of improved well-being and has a direct correlation with positive emotions.
In addition to this, creative hobbies lead to stronger and more connected neural networks within your brain. These help in the release and circulation of important feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine linked to good mental health. Even spending as little as two hours a week on hobbies can lead to higher creativity and improved well-being.
Stronger social bonds
Hobbies do not have to be solo endeavours if you prefer social activities. Hobby groups are a great way to make new friends and learn from each other. Being a part of a group or community that enjoys hobbies together leads to feeling more connected with those around you.
Low-cost fitness hobbies that you can start today
This is one of the easiest on the list of hobbies for you to start with. All you need is a pair of running shoes, the right supportive underwear, and comfortable running gear. Running helps you clear your mind, gives you a great workout, and a chance to stretch your limbs.
Even if gyms and group fitness classes have been closed in your area, running is still allowed in most places. If you’re running at night or in the evenings, you may have to invest in gear that allows vehicles to spot you. But if you’re running during daylight hours, you can wear casual workout clothing.
Resistance training is an activity that offers innumerable benefits and shows results fairly soon. With every exercise that builds muscle and strength, you’re warding off several age and lifestyle-related concerns. You’ll find your body becoming more toned and better able to perform daily tasks.
As you become more experienced, you can invest in a few weights or resistance bands to increase the challenge. It is recommended that beginners start with YouTube videos so that you can see the right form and posture, but as you learn the exercises, you can even start working out in the park.
Yoga gives you a wide range of benefits, from lengthening and toning muscles to helping with indigestion and chronic pain. It will soon become a favourite workout choice for most people because it is incredibly relaxing and yet very productive. If you’re new to yoga, look for tutorials or watch videos on YouTube to help you understand the correct form.
Learning mindfulness and meditation allows you to hit the pause button and take some time for yourself. We spend most of our time on our To-Do lists or on our devices, with very little time left for getting in touch with ourselves and processing emotions. Of the most helpful benefits of meditation is learning how to shut out distractions and train your focus for improved mental and emotional well-being.
Low-cost creative hobbies that you can start today
Before we begin making a list of hobbies in the creative space, it’s important to note that you don’t have to be good at a creative hobby to take it up. If you’re not the next Leonardo da Vinci, you can still enjoy a painting session and should still put it up in your home to admire.
Creative hobbies are not about becoming famous artists or making a new career. They are activities that keep you engaged, inspired and creatively curious.
Here is a list of hobbies that are low-cost and creative:
Writing has the most potential on the list of hobbies. You can try to write fiction, create a blog, try your hand at poetry, or just enjoy the peaceful, therapeutic nature of journaling. If meditation doesn’t work for you, writing a journal about your thoughts and daily activities can help you process your emotions and enjoy a quiet, creative hour on your hobbies.
Thanks to our smartphones, all of us have access to filters and apps that make our photographs look spectacular. If you enjoy taking pictures, you might want to take courses or read about some of the technical aspects to get even better at your hobby.
Cooking and baking
At the top of the list of hobbies that bring immediate joy to the creator and the people around them, cooking might just be the favourite. When you cook or bake something new, you enjoy sharing it with everyone around you and are encouraged by the praise and the feedback. Most of us have spent more time in our kitchens and enjoyed the feeling of achievement that following a recipe (or making up one of your own) can bring.
Calligraphy, sketching, and painting
These artistic hobbies can cost you a lot or very little, depending on the supplies you buy. All you need is a book with blank paper and the right pencils, pens, or paints. There are hundreds of tutorials online and you will get better as you practice and master the techniques of your art.
Reading requires nothing more than a book and a comfortable spot to stretch out in. For those who don’t want to do anything active, reading is one of the hobbies that requires the least physical exertion but still offers improvements to your mental health and cognitive abilities.
If you or someone you know has a large collection of books, you can explore multiple genres or read deeply in the genre you enjoy most. Libraries are the most affordable option to give you access to a wide range of books for a small subscription or membership fee, but if you cannot go out to a library, you can buy eBooks and start reading immediately.
Reading devices like the Kindle are great for readers who like having multiple books on the go, but you can download the Kindle app on your tablet or phone for free and access their free books too.
Learning new skills
Most of us have a list of things we’d love to learn, but we haven’t made the time for it yet. Why not make a hobby of learning new skills? Whether it be a new language or a new dance form. There are free videos available on YouTube or courses that can be accessed for very low costs.
Learning something new boosts your cognitive health and opens up many avenues of possibility. From new places to travel to, people from different cultures to talk to, and new groups of hobbyists that you can join.
Hobbies offer benefits to all ages. Hobbies for kids help them develop their talents, work on their social skills, and identify what interests them. The stress reduction hobbies offer makes them beneficial to those with busy home and work lives. For empty-nesters, hobbies can be a great way to explore new interests and find different purposes. For senior citizens, hobbies offer a way to stay fit, mentally active and engaged, social and curious.