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Hobbies over Habits: Improving Your Health Through Lifestyle Choices

INSCMagazine: Get Social!

Indulgence is a part of most people’s lives, whether that extravagance involves food, booze, TV, or something more personal. And there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time.

But sometimes you may overindulge or engage in habits that are hard to break and that aren’t exactly healthful. Maybe you live almost exclusively on a diet of red meat and beer. Perhaps you smoke (tobacco or otherwise, if you’re in a legalized state) on a regular basis.


No matter your favorite vice, unhealthy habits can significantly impact your quality of life, leading to health problems such as high blood pressure, lower immunity, lethargy, or depression.  Your bad habits could have more severe effects as well — for instance, there are indications that regular marijuana use can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED) and gum disease.

But there’s no need to panic: According to Medical News Today, hobbies are good for our mental and physical health. Thus, to improve your health and ensure that your libido stays strong, consider swapping out some of your unhealthy habits for hobbies. And whether you’re a hands-on kind of guy or prefer visual activities, there are plenty of interesting hobbies that can become part of your routine. Here are three of our favorites:

Hands-on Hobby: Creative Car Restoration

Cars are such an important part of our lives that they’re often considered more than just transportation. The car you drive defines your personality and gives you a chance to show off a little. But it can also become a lucrative hobby — no elbow grease required.

In Poland, a man named Mariusz Olejnik took his car obsession to the next level. Using scrap metal and old car components, he brings junk luxury cars back to life, essentially turning them into works of art. Unfortunately, you can’t actually drive Olejnik’s creations, but you can use them for creative inspiration.

Visual Hobby: Amateur Photography

Hobbies can be more than just a fun way to fill up your spare time and break free from bad habits; they could also supplement your income or even lead to career prospects in the future. For instance, you could turn your penchant for taking selfies and snapping photos of your dog into something more serious.

Photos are everywhere in our digital world, and taking a photoshop class might provide you with an avenue to take your collateral to the next level or simply unleash your personal creativity. Taking the time to develop your passion is actually a form of self-care. And making time for yourself is integral to the process when you’re trying to drop unhealthy habits.

Active Hobby: Dog Walking (or Running)

Did you know that pets are good for your health? It’s true. Sharing your life with a domesticated animal may actually improve your heart health, reduce stress, and even increase your lifespan.

The health benefits of pet ownership increase when coupled with exercise. The next time you get a craving for a drink or smoke, or an urge to gorge on fatty or sugary foods, clip a leash to your dog instead and hit the pavement.

If you don’t have a furry friend in your life but still want to reap the benefits of pet ownership, you have options. Many animal shelters and rescue centers across the U.S. have opportunities for volunteer dog walkers. Signing up to walk or run with homeless pups gives you a three-fold opportunity: giving back to your community, improving your health, and helping a shelter dog feel free and happy, even for a few minutes. Who knew that healthy living was so rewarding?

The Last Word

Staying healthy takes more than just diet and exercise. You also need to free yourself from addiction and/or bad habits like smoking and drinking excessively. Replacing unhealthy habits and risky behaviors with interesting and rewarding hobbies, such as volunteer dog walking, junk car restoration, and photography, can be the key to a longer, healthier, and happier life.

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