You can burn an ample number of calories by knitting. A typical 150-lb person burns 100 to 150 calories in one hour of knitting. Amazingly, even a passive activity such as knitting can lower your calorie count.
The number of calories you shed with an hour of knitting is similar to a half hour of exercise. But it is vital to note that the number of calories you burn doing the different activities depends on your age, weight, and heart rate.
You can be thankful if you are a knitter because you know that you have something that can keep your calorie count down.
There are non-exercise physical activities (NEPA) or non-exercise physical activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which are types of non-formal exercises you can do during the day that can lower your calorie count.
You can include knitting and crocheting in these activities, which are examples of ways to burn off calories from physical exercise.
The following numbers are based on a 150-pound person and MET (metabolic equivalent) values for each activity.
|Activity||Calories burned per|
|Changing a lightbulb||17|
|Wiring and plumbing||224|
|Gardening or weeding||232|
|Grocery shopping with a cart||260|
|Putting away laundry||266|
|Assembling Ikea furniture||288|
|Painting a bedroom||290|
|Lay or remove carpet||335|
|Building a deck||308|
You can choose from various non-exercise physical activities, but if you can knit, you can burn many calories doing something you love and get rewarded with a finished project.
Knitting can lower your calorie level by 100 to 150 per hour. Just imagine how many calories you will lose with your time on your yarns and needles.
Some sedentary activities like sitting and walking can lower calorie values in your body; how much more can knitting and crocheting, which entails repetitive movements of your hand, form stitches?
Knitting may not burn the same amount of calories that purely physical activity can give, but some knitters find ways to make knitting more physical than it is.
Knitting, by itself, cannot lower your calorie count enough to make you lose weight. Experienced knitters mix activities to increase the calories burned when knitting.
Sitting is the most common and most comfortable way to knit; there is no doubt about that. But if you want to burn more calories by knitting, you can do it standing or walking.
Compared to sitting, which burns around 80 calories per hour, you would lower your calorie count by 88 calories by standing and 132 calories by walking.
It only means that walking or standing while you knit can help you burn more calories than just sitting down. The only question is if you are willing to trade in comfort for weight loss.
Is knitting good for weight loss?
Knitting can help with weight loss. A study showed that women who knit could turn their attention away from eating, resulting in weight loss.
Knitting keeps your hands busy, so you have no more time to munch on snacks. If you are keen to finish a knitting project, you will not get bored enough to keep eating because your hands will be too busy.
You must know that knitting, crocheting, and doing any craft involving both hands can keep your hands off the snacks. Knitting is an excellent way to keep your mind focused away from food. A crafting hobby can make you more productive and avoid mindless eating.
Some knitters confess that they get so obsessed with knitting that they forget to eat. It might be a clever way to lose weight, but it may only be good for your health in the long run if it happens only sometimes.
Knitting continually can keep you glued to your chair. You may move your hands constantly, but your body is inactive. It would help to get up, stretch out, and move about. You may not lose much weight by knitting, but a little stretching and light exercise might do your body some good.
Related: Best Yarn For Knitting Hats
Is knitting considered exercise?
Knitting can strengthen the upper limbs and can lower your calorie count. But having calories burned during knitting does not mean that knitting is a better workout than the more physical activities you do daily.
Lowering your calorie count is just one of the benefits your body can get from knitting. You may not burn as many calories in knitting as with physical exercise, but your body can gain from knitting’s repetitive motion.
Knitting is known to develop fine motor skills as it can exercise both sides of the brain, thus improving your mental and physical health.
These days, knitting is an activity that not only your grandma or aunts can enjoy. Younger knitters are also finding this craft exciting and pleasurable. Below are some of the benefits you can get by learning to knit.
- Strengthens upper limbs
- Promotes dexterity and stretch in hands and fingers
- Reduces stress
- Trains mind/cognitive function
- Builds good habits
- Creates a sense of purpose
- Improves memory and concentration
- Builds interpersonal relationships
- Encourages personal communications
- Offers a practical way to take a digital detox
Knitting is a fun hobby with many health benefits, but too much time spent on it may give you pain or discomfort.
Listed are some of the most popular and useful hand, wrist, shoulder, and neck exercises to keep knitters keep on.
- Finger Spreads
Here is a simple yet very effective exercise to help straighten those fingers back after hours of knitting.
Hold your hand out, then let it relax. Spread all your five fingers as wide as you can and hold this position for a couple of seconds.
Pull your fingers back in tightly and curl them into a fist. Squeeze tight and hold for a few seconds.
Repeat the process a few times to stretch your hands and fingers; then, you can resume your work
- Finger Stretch
Start with your hands stretched out, with your palms facing up.
Fold in both pinky fingers towards the center of your palm, followed by your ring fingers, your middle fingers, and your index fingers. Once the fingers are curled towards your palm, cross your thumbs over the top.
Hold your hand in this position for a few seconds. Breathe deeply, then release your thumb, opening wide. Then remove the next fingers one at a time.
Release your fingers in order, starting from the index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and finally, your smallest finger.
Open your hands as wide as possible. Stretch all your fingers. Repeat the exercise 8 times.
- Thumb Stretch
Begin by relaxing your hand with your fingers and thumb straight. Then, bend your thumb across your palm. Next, touch the tip of your thumb to the bottom end of your pinky.
If you can’t make your thumb touch the small finger, try stretching it as far as you can comfortably. Return your thumb to its starting position. Apply this exercise eight times with each hand.
- Knuckle Bend
The knuckle bend exercise will help you improve the range of motion on the upper part of your fingers.
Begin the exercise by straightening your fingers and holding them close together. Then, bend your fingers’ end and middle joints but ensure your knuckles are straight.
Slowly and smoothly, return your hand to its starting position. Do this exercise eight times on each hand.
You should hold the base of your fingers steady at first. This step will prevent the bottom from bending rather than the knuckle.
- Wrist Flex and Extend
This exercise might be an old one, but it is undoubtedly good. The wrist flex and extend exercise is a typical hand exercise that can help loosen a cramping wrist from extended hours of knitting.
Flex your wrist by curling it toward your forearm. Then, hold and squeeze. And then extend it. Stretch it back as far as it will comfortably go. And then, hold and squeeze.
The “wrist flex and extend” exercise also benefits people with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Coffee Tin and Rice Trick
The coffee tin and rice trick is an exercise developed for strengthening the hands and improving fine motor skills.
Mix the rice up, so your dimes sink to the bottom of the coffee tin. Then, put your hand in and try to get all the dimes you put in.
Repeat the exercise 2-3 times.
- Reverse Prayer Hands
The ‘reverse prayer hands’ is an excellent activity for wrist and upper back pain. It is the best exercise to do before, during, and after knitting.
Keep your spine long and keep your arms behind you while you inhale. Then, exhale. Inhale again, then point the palms of your hands toward each other while you rotate your arm.
Relax and take a few deep breaths.
At the next inhale, rotate the tips of your fingers along your spine. At the same time, open your chest. With the hands in prayer position behind you, take a few more deep breaths before relaxing.
Perform this exercise every 45 – 60 minutes when knitting.
You can also perform a variation of the reverse prayer hands in front of your body: Bring your hands together at your chest as if praying. Then, rotate your fingers toward the ground to get an excellent stretch on the wrists and forearms.
- Shoulder Shrugs and Rolls
When knitting, it is not only the hands that feel tired and painful. Mind your shoulders also. With extended hours hunched over your knitting, expect sore and stiff shoulders.
‘Shoulder Shrug and Rolls’ is an exercise that can loosen your stiff shoulders.
Begin shoulder shrugs by sitting straight on a chair, then bring your shoulders up to your ears. Hold in, squeeze your shoulders, and trap muscles, then slowly release. Repeat the process several times as needed.
Perform shoulder rolls by sitting or standing straight. Roll your shoulders to your ears, then move them forward and down. Next, do it in the opposite direction; roll your shoulders toward your ears, back, then down in a fluid motion.
- Neck Rolls
The neck is also not spared from strain when knitting a project for long straight hours. Neck rolls are the key to easing it out.
Begin the neck rolls with your spine and neck straight. Look straight ahead of you. Tilt your head back the farthest it will go. Then gaze driftingly to the ceiling.
Roll your head to one side, then slowly roll it down toward your chest. Then gently roll your head up to the other side and back to the tilted-back position.
Reverse the movement and repeat as many times as you need it.
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