The importance of hobbies and why they’re important to your chiropractor. Written by Mel Davis, associate chiropractor at Back 2 Balance.

As a chiropractor one of the important questions I ask new clients is “what hobbies do you have?” and quite often I get “I don’t have any hobbies” in response. One of the reasons why I’ve chosen to write about this now is because there is a gentle hint of spring in the air…and springtime for me is essentially the new year!!

For both myself and Becky, hobbies are a very important aspect to having and creating a healthy and fullfilling life. They can keep you fit or express your creative side. Sometimes it’s nice to be working towards something and have that sense of achievement when you notice the improvements. It could be learning another language, painting, training for an event e.g. a 10k run, learning to dance (salsa/lindyhop both have a massive scene in Brighton) or bootcamps you regularly see on Hove lawns.

I can appreciate we all have busy schedules, but just a couple of hours a week doing something other than work or watching the TV can make a difference to your overall enjoyment out of life. Ask yourself ‘what do I want to achieve in the next 5 years?’ or ‘what hobbies could I do whilst also being with my family?’

Often, as chiropractors, we see people who are very stressed. Mainly due to work and/or home commitments. Hobbies bring a sense of fun and freedom to life that can help minimize the impact of chronic stress. They provide an outlet for stress, and something to look forward to at the end of a hard day/week. Take for example myself- after a long day at the clinic I really look forward to going home and learning some french (honestly…even if it’s just for 30 minutes…I can feel myself getting better at the language and I find that inspiring). The general pattern we see here at the clinic is that those people who have stressful or time consuming jobs feel less need to ‘recover’ and drown themselves in a bottle of wine at the end of the day, when they have more physical or social leisure activities that AREN’T work related (i.e. hobbies).

Obviously as a chiropractor I have to mention the link between an increase in activity levels and the effect that will have on people’s backs. The general rule is that the more movement (low grade level i.e. walking etc) you put your bodies through, then the more spinal muscle activation will occur. The spinal muscles get stronger and are therefore better equiped at protecting the spinal joints. There is then a reduced risk of back pain/or future relapses :-).

There is another reason that we like to know what you do outside of the work place, and it’s not just what makes you tick. We like to know what other things you are doing with your body from an ergonomic point of view and if there are going to be any repetitive strain movements occurring. Here at Back 2 Balance we like to give you lots of advice and improvements that you could implement so that you heal faster and get the best out of your chiropractic care.

Hobbies are also a great way to meet loads of people and socialisation is an important part of being human. We are all social creatures, it’s important to make new connections with people but to ofcourse honour established connections as well. Social interactions, like exercise can help release endorphins/happy chemicals in our brains and contribute to a sense of contentment.

The fact of the matter is, is that we live in a ruddy brilliant town with so much going on. We all pay over average rent/mortgage to live here. We chose to live here because we’ve got the downs on our doorstep, we’ve got the sea as our back garden, we’ve got all the wierd and wonderfull shops, events, social clubs at our finger tips so lets make the time and make the most of what’s on offer.

Here are some of the team’s differing hobbies….
Sue: Reading, Dance, Walking the dog, cooking, travel
Becky: Health, Yoga, Reading, Exercise, Skiing/windsurfing
Mel: Tennis, Kitesurfing, Learning french, going for walks

So, it’s your time now….what’s your hobby? Why do you do it? What’s your motivation for doing it? Do you think it helps you to unwind and relax?