We all know the obvious benefits of gardening, there is the immediate pleasure of having beautiful trees, plants or flowers to look at, then there is the enjoyment of harvesting what you have planted. Maybe you are growing herbs or vegetables that you can now use in your cooking, or perhaps you’ve grown beautiful flowers that you can create into a unique bouquet and display in your home. These are the usual benefits we see from taking time to garden, but have you ever thought of the health benefits that you can have from gardening? In this post we’ll go over 5 of the best benefits for your health that you can easily achieve.
A study was conducted at the Wageningen University and Research center and they found that gardening could play an important part in reducing stress levels. The results showed that gardening can reduce levels of cortisol which is the stress hormone. The calming nature of gardening, although it may be physical work at times can have a huge effect on these stress hormones, as well as the satisfaction and joy in seeing your hard work pay off as your plants and garden flourish.
Immune System Support
This may seem somewhat contradictory as soil is full of germs and bacteria. However, exposure to microorganisms can help increase your immunity against diseases, especially if exposed when younger. As well as this the vitamin d that you will be absorbing while outside working in your garden is vital to your health and is a great aid in fighting colds and flus.
A great work out
It never seems like gardening will be a difficult workout, until you wake up the day after replanting a small patch and realize all the muscles you’d forgotten about have been tested once again. Of course the degree of the work out will vary greatly on the size of your garden. But even if the size is small the action of mowing, shoveling and weeding are all great full body workouts. It has been said that 3 hours of gardening can equal 1 hour in the gym (in terms of calories) And the best part is you won’t even know you’re working out!
An improved Diet
If you are growing you own vegetables and herbs, then your diet will no doubt improve as your garden does. Not only will you reap the benefits of harvesting and eating your home grown food but you will then notice a difference in the quality and taste of the food, this has led many to want to improve their overall diet and food choices even when shopping at the market. There is nothing tastier then freshly picked, organic, home grown veggies and you will want this in all that you eat.
Although of the greatest benefit to the elderly, gardening can have a positive impact on brain stimulation for young and old alike. Because gardening includes multiple areas of focus, physical exercise, cognitive learning, and much more, it is a great way to keep the mind sharp and on edge. Studies have shown that gardening can have positive results in reducing the risk of dementia in people in their 60s and 70s. The sooner you start the more impact it can have.
So whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener or if you have a few potted plants or an acre of veggies you can clearly see that gardening has positive and impactful health benefits for all that participate.