If you’ve ever been told – or told someone else – that they need to get a hobby, well, turns out it may have actually been very good advice.

Fitness is a big part of many people’s lives, and it’s a tremendous, life-extending hobby, but we recognize it’s not everything in life. But when we’re not working class or spending time with family, there’s more to be enjoyed. Get yourself a hobby. Here’s why.

Hobbies relieve stress. Stress comes from everywhere. Work, family, financial pressures, and so on. But fishing? Learning woodworking? Ah … stress relief! Hobbies demand some attention from us, and in doing so, a funny thing happens – the other stuff starts to melt away. Even 30 minutes of “you” time on a new hobby can clear your mind and help you breathe easier.

Bonus tip: Yoga is a great stress-reducing hobby to pick up! Not only do you reduce stress when practicing yoga, but you also work on strengthening your core and increasing your flexibility.

Hobbies help you uncover new talents. The older we get, the more likely we are to fall into our routines. And that’s not such a bad thing – but it does often prevent us from discovering new talents that we might possess. Jim Carrey and former president George W. Bush, for instance, are both known for their careers as an actor and politician, respectively, but each has taken up painting in their later years. And they’re actually really good at it. What might you discover about yourself?

Hobbies lead to the achievement of goals. Maybe you’re an accountant by day, but you’ve always dreamed of writing the next great American novel. Well, hobbies aren’t just for fun or stress relief. In fact, structuring the time you dedicate to your hobbies can actually help you reach those bigger dreams you’ve always had for yourself. No, you won’t write the next great American novel tomorrow. But 30 minutes a day will help you start chipping away at it.

And hey, if fitness just so happens to be the new hobby you’re looking at, don’t let us get in your way. In fact, let us help you on your way! And start with a free guest pass to a Youfit Health Clubs nearest you. Visit us online at Youfit.com to learn more.