Gardening is a nice activity to pull our minds and bodies away from the boisterous demands of modern life. It provides an opportunity for gardeners to interact with nature, enjoy the fresh breeze while performing a minimal form of exercise.
Alongside other benefits, various studies have been conducted to determine the impact of gardening on health. Most people are quick to say that gardening is therapeutic both physically and mentally, but what effect exactly does gardening have on one’s health?
We’re about to find out.
10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Gardening
Let’s quickly examine 10 ways gardening benefits our health
Gardening is a Form of Exercise
When most people hear the word exercise, they begin to envision someone running non-stop on a fast-moving treadmill or lifting weights.
While all gym activities are great forms of aerobic exercise, they are a ton of other activities just as helpful. 30 minutes to an hour of gardening activities will burn off a significant amount of calories like time spent in any other known exercise.
Performing physical tasks like clearing scrubs, mowing, or digging for over 30 minutes can burn 185 to 250 calories. In addition to burning calories, you also tone your muscles. When next you’re working in the garden, know you’re also doing a little work out as well.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Just spending a few minutes of your time observing the beautiful scenery you’ve created as a garden lowers the blood pressure.
The beautiful, bright colours ease the tension you’ve built up for whatever reason. This is why people are advised to take up gardening as a hobby. It is a great way to relax during the weekend and even bond with your loved ones.
For Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the important vitamins your body needs. It’s also referred to as ‘sunshine vitamin‘ because it is gotten from sunlight.
Vitamin D deficiency caused by low or no exposure to sunlight due to cold weather or a very sedentary lifestyle which keeps people indoors for hours on end.
Studies have made a link between Vitamin D deficiency and some disease conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Gardening exposes you to sun rays which eliminate the possibility of being Vitamin D deficient which is great for your general health.
Boosts your Mental Health
The art of gardening is a hobby for many and it isn’t so hard to discover why. Connecting with nature, grooming plants and enjoying the fresh air outdoors is mentally rewarding. Studies have indicated that gardening helps de-stress and reduces depression.
Researchers have performed experiments to explain this concept.
A bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae discovered in the soil has been shown to increase the production of serotonin; a hormone secreted in the brain known to improve one’s mood. Gardening is a mentally rewarding art to indulge in.
Reduces the Risk of Dementia
The older population is more likely to get diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s. A study conducted has shown that gardening regularly reduces the possibility of having dementia by up to 36%.
Isn’t that great? Encourage your grandparents to take up gardening if they haven’t already.
Grow your Own Healthy Food
Some people dabble into gardening for the sole purpose of growing their own veggies and fruits. The increase in processed and junk foods makes it slightly difficult to eat healthy nowadays.
However, by having your own garden you have the liberty to grow some crops yourself. When its harvest time, you’ll have some nutritious food for yourself. Gardening helps you eat healthier.
Stress Combating Garden Design
We are fully conversant with the fact that gardening helps reduce stress levels, but there is more we can do to that effect. In addition to communing with nature, you can design your garden in an even more therapeutic way.
Horticultural therapy is a field that aims at using gardening to alleviate stress and anxiety in such a way that simply observing the garden calms you. This is achieved by inculcating some elements to create a peaceful and serene environment to help you feel even more relaxed.
A combination of colours, scents and textures are put together to create your own safe haven.
A healing garden is another form of horticultural therapy. This form of therapy has been in existence for centuries, but it has become quite famous in recent times. Some rehabilitation centres and hospitals include healing gardens for patients who survive stroke and brain injuries.
Health professionals have discovered that people who take up gardening recover faster, including their flexibility, strength and memory.
Reduces Risk of a Stroke and Heart Attack
Gardening is beneficial to the entire body, including the heart. Science has shown that regular gardening reduces the risk of having a stroke or getting a heart attack.
In older people over the age of 60, it decreases the risk by up to 27% and prolongs their life by up to 30%. These numbers are significant, so I guess you have one more reason to encourage your grannies to adopt gardening.
Breathe in clean air
Due to the increased urbanization of our world, our companies and devices release contaminants like fumes into the environments which pollute the air we take in. You can help reverse this process by tending to your garden.
As we all know (or most of us), plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere during photosynthesis. This process rids the environment of more carbon dioxide and provides us with oxygen which we need.
Gardening helps to clean up your environment and leaves you with cleaner, fresher air.
Gardening does way more than giving us fresh vegetables and fruit to munch on. The art itself is beneficial to our physical and mental health. From keeping us fit as a subtle form of exercise to limiting the risks of getting some illnesses, gardening is a very healthy hobby to indulge in.
If you are looking for an exercise to keep you healthy and soothes you, gardening is the way to go.
So what are you waiting for?
Get out a shovel and start gardening now!