How Gardening is Good for your Health

As the sun emerges from its winter slumber, gardens enthusiastically await springtime toil.  Budding gardens are one of the things that people most look forward too about spring.  Whether you’ve got a green thumb or not, going to work in your garden is a worthwhile activity because gardening is good for your health.  Today we’re exploring several fascinating ways gardening is good for your health.

Gardening is good exercise.  Digging, hoeing, hauling, mowing, planting, weeding, trimming, kneeling and squatting…these are all common movements and positions for gardeners, which makes gardening a wonderful physical activity.  Medical experts recommend being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day.  Gardening counts as moderate exercise and can burn between 200 and 400 calories an hour, depending on your level of exertion.

woman gardening__1458692144_162.206.228.38Gardening is helpful for the heart.  Because of the physical activity and peaceful nature of toiling in a garden, gardening can help stabilize blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and prevent health issues associated with being overweight and having high blood pressure.

Gardening strengthens the immune system.  Being outdoors allows you to soak up Vitamin D from the sun, which in turn helps you absorb calcium.  Both Vitamin D and calcium are terrific immune boosters and help your bones stay strong as well.  Also, digging in the dirt offers exposure to harmless bacteria that will ultimately strengthen the immune system.

Gardening is a stress reliever.  After a long day of work or chasing after kids, gardening can help you relax.  Like other stress-reducing leisure activities, gardening diverts your attention to a more passive state.  Also, enjoying nature is soothing and calming to the senses due to the beautiful sights, fragrant smells, peaceful sounds and the warmth of being outdoors.

Gardening is healing and therapeutic.  For some, gardening is almost like meditation.  It can be cathartic and spiritual and can create a Zen-like experience.

Gardening boosts mental health.  Being one with nature gives you a natural high.  It contributes to the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin that induces feelings of joy and pleasure.  This reduces incidence of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.

Gardening has long-term brain benefits.  Studies show that people who spend years gardening as a hobby are over 30% less likely to get dementia as they age.  This may be a combination of the physical and stress relieving benefits, as well as a consistent use of brainpower to focus on creating a delightful garden.

Gardening has great nutritional benefits.  Growing a garden full of fruits, vegetables and herbs will help you eat more healthfully.  Not only will you enjoy the produce from your garden, you will know exactly what is going into your food.  You can avoid unnecessary pesticides and contamination caused by mass-production, storage and transportation of produce.

Gardening gives you a sense of pride.  Creating a stunning garden is a great accomplishment.  It has lasting beauty that you and others can enjoy at least throughout the spring and summer, perhaps even longer depending on the types of plants and flowers you grow.  Every time you look at your garden you will feel proud that you contributed such loveliness to the world.

Whether you have a big yard or a few small window boxes to toil in, make gardening a part of your springtime health regimen.

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