Improving your health isn't all about what you eat and whether you run five miles every morning. While making wise food choices and getting plenty of exercise is an important part of your well-being, there are other ways to improve your health while doing something you love. Taking up photography is one of them. This hobby provides a host of health benefits ranging from the physical to the emotional and can serve you well as a life-long habit you'll want to continue. Consider the ways taking up photography can improve your health and well-being:
#1 Lifts Your Mood and Makes You Happier
If you normally turn to food, like chocolate or that bag of salty chips, to lift your mood when you are feeling down, you may be surprised to learn that photography can give you a bigger boost than food or drinks and won't pack on the pounds your culinary indiscretions can. According to an article published on MakeUseOf (MUO), recent research reveals that looking at photographs elevates mood by an amazing 11 percent, while chocolate and other goodies only raise your happiness level by a mere 1 percent.
#2 Increases Physical Activity
You may not have thought about it before, but taking up photography, especially if you are an outdoor photographer, increases your physical activity. Photography involves constant movement that often includes bending, squatting, and stretching. If you take up nature or wildlife photography, it will also require walking, hiking, and climbing as you strive to get that perfect shot. According to an article published in The Huffington Post, exercising in nature also provides a host of benefits that you won't reap riding that stationary bike. Consider these benefits to getting outside with your camera and exercising in the great outdoors.
- Improves brain function. Exercise outdoors boosts brain function, improving concentration and enhancing imagination.
- Provides a quick energy boost. If you commonly rely on caffeine to get through those slumps in the day, you may be surprised to learn that as little as 20 minutes outside is as effective as a cup of coffee to boost energy, says The Huffington Post.
- Reduces stress. Nature and exercise have both long been known as a natural stress reducers, and you'll get plenty of both when you take up wildlife or nature photography.
#3 Broadens Your Perspective
Photography is all about learning to see the world in new ways, but the benefits don't stop when you put down the lens. It teaches you to see things that you never noticed before and to view everything from multiple angles. This new-found ability to see what others miss carries over into your daily life. It creates an appreciation for the ordinary and often spurs feelings of gratitude and thankfulness. These in turn improves your outlook on life and helps you to see the world around you in different a light.
#4 Improves Vision
Your visual acuity and visual discrimination skills will also likely increase as you learn to use them when photographing a scene. You may be surprised by suddenly seeing variations in color or noticing the interplay of light and shadows that you never noticed before. While photography may not improve your vision on a vision test, you may find you see more or see better in other areas of your life, too.
#5 Boosts Self-Confidence
Nearly everyone knows that self-confidence and self-esteem play integral roles in your perception of health and your ability to cope with the world around you. Photography is a great way to build self-confidence and self-esteem. Because photography is a learning process and you are continually improving your skills with practice, you will likely experience boosts in self-confidence and self-esteem at regular intervals. Positive reactions from others as well as your own observation of the improved quality of your photos both work to build self-confidence and self esteem.
If you are looking for a hobby that will make improving your health an enjoyable experience, give photography a try. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover a new life-long hobby that is both fun and good for your health, too.