These Hobbies for men that are worth taking up
These days that feels like a quaint question. Hobbies sound like something from a rose-tinted past where extra-curricular activities might have included something more wholesome than Facebook, Netflix or five ill-judged pints of pale ale. Well, let’s change that.
We need more hobbies. Because frankly we could all do with a distraction or two. In a world that’s always on, always charged, where to-do lists are never-ending and everyone’s addicted to their screens, hobbies give you an out. They’re a way to unplug, relax, meet people (in physical, 3D form no less) and serve up an antidote to the general burnout of modern life.
Below, we’ve found no less than 50 hobbies for men, each of them designed to tackle an unwanted symptom of the rat race. Have fun.
Hobbies That Limit Your Screen Time
Modern life is mostly just sitting down and staring at a screen. In the office. At home. On the bus or the train. Let’s be honest, you’re doing it right now. And we all know that feeling of mental screen burn: that slightly wired fuzziness behind the eyes. The effects are real.
Studies have reported shrinking of brain tissue and impaired cognitive function from excessive screen time. A report from last year confirmed US adults were spending over 10 hours each day staring at a screen, while a UK study revealed we spend more time on devices than in bed. Prolonged TV viewing has also been connected to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
These hobbies will get you away from the screen and stimulate both body and mind.
Staring at your phone’s GPS isn’t just giving you screen-related fatigue, it’s stopping your brain’s ability to work things out – in this case directions – for itself. Urban orienteering is a half race, half mental challenge: reading a (real) map, while running, outdoors. The perfect remedy.
Play Adult Board Games
Studies have linked board games to boosts in cognitive skills and good mental health. And there are plenty of adult-orientated games out there. Try historical fantasy Scythe, space-opera strategy Quantum, or puzzler Sagrada. Joining a club is every bit as addictive as social media, only the people and interactions are real.
Start Ground Hopping
You can waste a lifetime watching sports on never-ending 24-hour channels, slowly frying your brain and adding extra pounds. Get out and see a game for real. In fact, go one better and visit as many stadiums and club grounds as possible in the sport you love the most – the ultimate collecting hobby for men.
Create Art… With Chainsaw Carving
Turn off the computer, go outside and do the manliest thing you can possibly do with your hands – carve something out of a massive block of wood with a chainsaw. It’s a rugged workout, but extra points if you make something actually artistic.
Start An Allotment
The health benefits for this are obvious: fresh air, sunshine, light exercise and an unlimited source of vitamins and minerals. It’s also the height of 21st century masculinity to grow your own (food that is, not a beard – though it helps the earthy hipster look). At the very least, try growing some herbs in a window box.
Take Photographs (Without Your Phone)
It seems like a thing of the past – a lost analog art, if you like – but there are still impressive film cameras available to buy. Old-school cameras are still superior in natural light for authentic-looking photographs. Plus, by having to get it right, you skip all the time you spend dropping filters or fiddling in post-production apps on your phone. You have to be in the moment.
Learn Some Magic
You can Tinder all you want, but you’re not going to learn any new ways to impress a potential date staring at your phone. And what’s more impressive than a flawlessly performed magic trick?
Solve Some Jigsaw Puzzles
Numerous studies have found evidence that puzzles help delay memory decline in old age and ward off degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s by keeping you mentally active. Jigsaws also require visuospatial skills, which engage different parts of the brain. Namely the ones that are usually fried into submission by your inbox.
Go Metal Detecting
A wonderfully lonesome pursuit for men who enjoy the great outdoors and the quiet thrill of trying (but inevitably failing) to find buried treasure. There’s also a whole detecting subculture and hobbyist clubs to get involved with and yes, there is a (slim) chance that you’ll find the Lost Ark of the Covenant.
Fishing (With Your Bare Hands)
If the only thing you do with your hands these days is click a mouse and swipe left, it’s time to go all hunter-gatherer. “Trout tickling” is a real thing – a technique that sends trout into a hypnotic daze when you stroke their undersides. If you can master that, you can call it a day on man-skills. You’ve already won.
Hobbies To Extinguish Burnout
Stress, exhaustion and being overworked can all lead to “burnout” – a very 21st century health problem. The symptoms are closely related to depression, such as severe anxiety, insomnia, and both physical and mental fatigue.
A YouGov poll in 2015 found that 51 per cent of full-time employees in the UK had experienced burnout. It’s all too easy to make it worse and keep piling on the work. But there’s only one way to tackle the effects: relax. Here are some suggestions for very chill, meditative hobbies that put your to-do list out of mind.
Become A Black Belt In Origami
A step-up from the old-school paper aeroplane, origami has seen a resurgence in interest for its ability to achieve mindfulness, tranquillity and even meditation through the art on teeny-tiny paper folding.
Build A City Out of LEGO
The adult LEGO fan community gets bigger all the time, but the beauty of LEGO is that it’s one of the all-time solitary activities. Designing and building is the perfect combo of taking on a manly project and and spending some serene, childlike time with oneself. The polar opposite of assembling flat-pack furniture.
A stylish alternative to the usually geeky hobby of memorabilia or stamps is collecting the best and rarest sneakers from around the world – from sports to hip-hop and custom-made designs.
The personal satisfaction of a great collection – especially one that makes you look so good – is immense. Seek out local stores rather than just relying on eBay.
Take Up Knitting
That’s right, knitting. In the last few years, more young men have taken up knitting as a pastime – not just to get creative with coloured wool, but because it’s an effective de-stresser and relaxation exercise. Plus, it’s absolutely bang on-trend right now.
Become A Spotter
Trainspotting is kind of old hat, but there are lots of other spotter hobbies: birds, of course, cars, dragonflies, trees, even fungi. All you need is yourself, some half-decent weather and a notebook.
Try Anti-Gravity Cocooning
It sounds like a craze – and it kind of is – but this is the perfect hobby for getting in the zen-zone. It’s essentially a light yoga-style workout while cocooned in a hammock suspended from the ceiling, followed by a bit of a nap, designed to energise both body and mind. It works.
Drive Fast Cars
Research nearby track days or driving experiences and drive something incredible that won’t require a remortgage. Getting behind of a powerful car can be literally and figuratively transportive for petrol heads.
Do Some Colouring
Colouring has become hugely popular for adult hobbyists, with colouring books among Amazon’s biggest sellers in recent years. Psychologists are reported to prescribe colouring to patients as a relaxation tool, and it’s proven to combat stress and anxiety by calming parts of the brain and refocusing attention.
Keep Lots Of Fish
Aquariums have long been associated with wellbeing and relaxation, presumably because we find watching fish relaxing. But researchers in 2015 found that tanks containing greater biodiversity – i.e. more species – made people happier and reduced their heart rate and blood pressure.
Bake Like A Man
Take the stress out of life by therapeutically kneading some dough and making something fancy that’s bad for the waistline but excellent for the soul. Besides, everyone knows that these days real men bake. It’s not just a hobby, it’s a life skill.