There can be any number of ways to identify what exactly a hobby is. Generally speaking, a hobby is something that an individual does for him or herself that is beyond work or family, something that she or he truly enjoys and "gets something out of". It is a way for a person to distract herself from the day-to-day rigours of life and to try something beyond the mundane every day. An example would be a caregiver in Canada who knits while their client sleeps.
Hobbies have actually been shown to have a number of benefits. Besides the obvious, increasing one's awareness and areas of expertise, hobbies have been shown to actually increase life spans. Depending on the hobby, individuals may spend hours at a time in pursuit of their goals.
We are going to list a few of the most popular types of hobbies in this introduction, in a broadly categorized manner.
Recently, those who compile statistics on such things declared that bird watching has become the number one hobby for people in North America. It really should come as no surprise, since this hobby combines some of the most exciting aspects of a lot of other hobbies; one records the different numbers and species of birds one sees, in a sense collecting them. It may occur either indoors or outdoors and at all times of year. You may even glimpse a wild canine or feline in the process! There is the opportunity to combine this hobby with several other popular kinds as well, such as fishing, photography, hunting, hiking, and so on. And best of all, it is a hobby where new discoveries can be made on a regular basis, and which can be enjoyed almost everywhere.
The best way to start out bird watching is to assemble some basic gear, including binoculars, a recording book, and a field guide. Like all hobbies, you should start out small and focus on identifying birds in your area. As you get better in both identification and technique, you may start to branch out until one day you find yourself checking off species of penguins in New Zealand!
Right behind bird watching is the incredibly diverse hobby of collecting. In fact, collecting is probably the first category of hobby that springs to mind when you think of the word, although likely you focus on a specific type of collection.
That, in part, is what makes collecting so great. There are any number of different collections that you can decide to make, from comic books to bottle caps to the more obscure, such as tea sets or elastic bands. All over the world, people have strange and wonderful collections, and most of the time they just happen on the idea. As with bird watching, collecting is a year round, can happen everywhere type of hobby, and the Internet has opened up a whole new world to collectors of all types.
If you do decide that collecting is the hobby for you, you must first decide what to collect. It should be something that is of interest to you and that could be found in your general vicinity. Try to narrow your idea down a little bit into categories; instead of starting with coins, for example, begin by collecting coins from your own country. This may take more time than you realize, and you might never worry about foreign currency again! This will leave you all sorts of ways to expand your hobby.
Another very popular hobby is gardening, and again it is a hobby that can be done anywhere at almost any time. One of the great things about gardening is that it is always a challenge and there is always room to try something that hasn't been done before or to improve upon a past technique. From indoor plants to sprawling outdoor vegetable gardens, this popular hobby has practitioners all over the world.
Those of a mind to create often select the art of scale modeling for their hobby. Be warned, this is one hobby that is not for the impatient or careless heart. Scale modeling takes a great deal of time and energy to complete, no matter what the project is.
As with most hobbies, there are many different individual ways to enjoy scale modeling. Hobbyists can buy kits or make their models totally from scratch, and create anything from individual pieces to armadas and cities. The key, again, is to start small and work your way up to bigger projects.
Finally, most people consider reading a hobby. Thus categorized, it might be that it is actually a more popular hobby than bird watching or any other type, since the vast majority of people in North America read every day. Like other hobbies, it certainly is an ongoing activity that can help broaden horizons, advance a skill set, and take one's mind off of every day life.