The Top Hobbies of Successful Women

The Top Hobbies of Successful Women
The right hobbies are integral to professional success. Here are thirteen (lucky, huh?) hobbies certain famous and successful women enjoy regularly.
It may seem like success demands a lot from people, including giving up your favorite personal hobbies for the sake of pursuing your career. However, many successful women have a favorite hobby, one that balances well with their professional pursuits.

It helps them relax after a long day, makes their lives more balanced, and fosters qualities like determination and resilience that can improve their performance at work.

Read on to discover some of the top hobbies of women—perhaps you’ll find a few you’d like to adopt.

1. GOLF

It may conjure images of stuffy businessmen puffing on cigars between holes, but golf has many physical benefits. Players who choose to walk instead of ride in a cart get the cardiovascular benefits of walking three to four miles, for example.

Playing golf can also help relieve stress and improve concentration. Since it’s a favorite sport in the business world, golf provides networking opportunities to successful women. That’s why Condoleezza Rice started playing golf after becoming Secretary of State.

2. READING

Reading for pleasure is a great escape from the worries and stresses of everyday life. It also builds empathy and teaches you about different time periods, parts of the world, and people.

Reading is Oprah’s favorite hobby, and her book club has demonstrated how it can also be a fun social activity.

3. HIKING

Is it any surprise that hiking is one of Cheryl Strayed’s favorite activities? After all, she became famous after publishing a memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. These days it's a family activity for Cheryl, her husband, and their two children.

In addition to strengthening family bonds, hiking also provides cardiovascular benefits and builds self-reliance. Immersing yourself in nature can also be relaxing and meditative. Try taking a road trip for your next vacation, and stop for hikes at national parks along the way.

4. KNITTING

It’s no longer just your grandmother’s hobby. Knitting has become a favorite pastime for people of all ages.

With just two needles and a ball of yarn, you get a creative outlet that is meditative and can be done almost anywhere. “It’s a place to gather thoughts,” explains Meryl Streep, who spends her downtime on movie sets knitting.

5. REALITY TV

There’s something to be said for a guilty pleasure. Whether it’s celebrity gossip, video games, or reality television, these fun yet mindless activities can provide a welcome break from a grueling workday.

Just ask Beyoncé, who has admitted to a love of Jersey Shore. As long as TV watching isn’t crowding out more beneficial activities (like, you know, exercise) there’s nothing wrong with losing yourself in 30 minutes of manufactured drama.

6. YOGA

With so many variations to choose from, and benefits ranging from physical to mental health, everyone can find something to love about yoga.

Its positive effects on memory, focus, and self-control make it an especially good hobby for high-powered women. In fact, Arianna Huffington names the ancient practice as part of her recipe to thrive.

7. COLLECTING

In a digital world, a physical, material hobby like stamp collecting can be especially satisfying. Touching the stamps and the books they are kept in, appreciating the unique and artful design of each stamp and hunting for rare stamps—such are the pleasures of keeping a stamp collection.

For tennis phenomenon Maria Sharapova, stamp collecting was a beloved childhood hobby that she carried with her into adulthood and incorporated into her global travels.

And don’t worry—if you’re not into stamps, there are plenty of other things you can collect, like art or classic novels.

8. RUNNING

First Lady Michelle Obama has tried to get Americans moving since the beginning of her husband’s presidency, and she’s no slouch when it comes to her own physical activity. Undeterred by her busy schedule, Obama wakes at dawn to go running before her day begins.

9. GARDENING

Growing flowers isn’t as delicate as it sounds. It's physically demanding and requires regular maintenance, but Nicole Kidman is among the many hobbyists who find gardening enjoyable and relaxing.

10. TENNIS

Longtime Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, begins her day with tennis. Like golf, tennis can be a social sport played in pairs. It can be competitive or just for fun. Tennis benefits coordination and the cardiovascular system. And, if this legendary fashion editor has made it her hobby of choice, it must be a stylish one.

11. PING PONG   

Also known as table tennis, ping pong may make you nostalgic for the student center at your alma mater. This hobby transcends age, gender, and other categories, which is why Susan Sarandon is a passionate ping pong player and advocate.

Another positive aspect of the sport is its low physical impact. Unlike running or tennis, ping pong won’t wear on your body as you age.

12. BOARD GAMES

Board games are another youthful activity that can be equally enjoyable in adulthood. Facebook executive and author of Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg, unwinds with her children over a good round.

Fun and challenging, board games are a nice alternative to their digital counterparts after a day spent staring into screens. They also bring family and friends together. Try a Saturday night game party as a new way to hang out with your favorite people.

13. SNOWBOARDING

This exhilarating sport is favored by Wende Zomnir, executive creative director of Urban Decay Cosmetics, as a way to disconnect from work and feel “alive, healthy and strong.”If you like a good adrenaline rush, snowboarding is a great hobby to try. It’s also a good way to stay in shape.

How do you unwind from work and enjoy your leisure time?