Does knitting for extended periods of time compromise our physical fitness?
I love knitting and I am sure you can say the same about yourself. I love crocheting too. I love yarn crafts of all kinds. I also love doing them for extended periods of time. Knitting has given me a lot more than wearable garments. It has given me hope in darker times, it’s kept me sane through rough patches in my life, it’s given me a sense of accomplishment when I most needed it. The benefits of knitting for my mind and soul are countless. However, as much as I am convinced that knitting is good for my emotional state and it, without doubt, keeps me sane, I cannot help but wonder how good it is for my physical health. I always think of the 100-year-old woman who said that knitting keeps her arms toned and chest strong, which is so true. But how about the aerobic side of fitness.
I am a runner and I have to admit that after having kids I reduced my running to a minimum. I am a stay-at-home mom whose husband works long unpredictable hours and we have no family in town, which makes it very difficult when we need a baby sitter. Some friends’ teen daughters have been available to babysit for us when absolutely needed. But I feel a bit strange asking them to come for a couple of hours so I can go running. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s almost like moms are programmed to feel guilty if they do something for themselves while leaving the kids with a baby sitter. It’s always running errands, shopping, a quick haircut, maybe pick up school supplies for the kids… but I have never heard another mom say that she had a baby sitter because she wanted to go to the movies, or go browse the yarn isle.
At the same time, I am a knitter too and I do like spending hours (usually interrupted every 10 min by my kids) doing the craft that I absolutely love. However, I am usually very inactive during that time. Always sitting with almost no movement. Sometimes I even hold my breath making sure I don’t miss a stitch from a complex pattern. After spending a few hours like this, I start to wonder if I should come up with a method to do both knitting and moving at the same time. I feel that it is important to make the effort to stay active while also enjoying my favourite craft.
I remember my mom telling me about my great grandmother who had four young kids and she was mostly alone at home taking care of the kids while everyone else was out working. At the time, they didn’t have department stores where you could go and buy a shirt or a blanket, or anything really. People made their own clothing, fabrics, yarn, etc. So my great grandmother usually had a distaff strapped around her and a spindle in her hand spinning wool while chasing after the kids, keeping a garden, and cooking meals for the whole house. She had the time to make this! Talk about super woman! Compared to her, I feel like I don’t do anything all day. But what impressed me the most about her is that she never stopped moving. She was always on the go and still managed to knit, spin, sew, and craft for her family. So there has to be a way.
After doing some research online I did find a few bags designed for knitters on the go. And I am willing to try a couple just to see how I feel about knitting and moving. Maybe I’ll just make one for myself and try it out. It may not be suitable for complex patterns or designs that require working with a few colours, but for the “no-brainer” patterns of a never-ending blanket, a scarf, or a basic hat, it might work. It will definitely add some much needed movement.
Have you thought about knitting and movement? Have you tried any methods to add movement to your knitting?