Written by: Patrick Adams
Anyone who has ever planted a tree knows how much fun gardening can be. In addition, gardening is a relaxing activity that de-stresses our mind and works our body. However, there at least 9 health benefits of gardening you will find more than interesting.
1. Strong at heart
Gardening constitutes a solid workout. Planting, digging, weeding, and digging are all great cardio activities. Not only does the physical activity burn calories but it strengthens your heart. Namely, the intensity of the workout is medium, which provides gardeners with the ideal conditions to reap cardiovascular benefits.
2. Lacking vitamin D?
Most gardens are situated under the open sky and even indoor gardens have a glass roof, i.e. they are located inside a greenhouse. Direct exposure to sunlight is ideal for vitamin D. The vitamin increases levels of calcium in our body, making our bones stronger.
Furthermore, the more time we spend outside, the stronger our immune system gets. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should stay for hours on end in summer gardening under the scorching sun, as you risk getting skin cancer. Remember to always apply sunscreen in these instances.
3. Generating happy faces
It seems like a naïve claim but gardening makes you happy. Apart from the obvious psychological benefits, there is a bacteria living under the ground called M. vaccae.
When you inhale it while you dig through the soil, it increases the levels of serotonin, making you feel less anxious.
The next time someone says that it’s all in your head, tell them that this healthy bacteria is the true cause why you’ve put on a happy face recently.
4. Battling stress
There are many guides on how to deal with stress, however, reducing stress and anxiety symptoms isn’t easy at all. The best way to battle stress is to get rid of the stressors but considering the pace of modern life, that seems impossible.
On the other side, you can help alleviate mental pain by focusing on other tasks in life, such as gardening. When you think about it, planting a tree and watching it grow is rather satisfying, as few things could go wrong. As your plants grow, so will your self-confidence.
5. Having strong hands
We’ve mentioned earlier how gardening is a physically demanding hobby. Apart from walking around the garden all the time which constitutes a walk (in the park), your upper body musculature will be strengthened.
From shoveling to dragging reeling hoses across the garden, you can expect your hands to gain in strength. This is ideal for seniors or children, whose grip power isn’t particularly strong. The more they plant, weeds, and water, the better the hand dexterity they will have.
6. An activity for the whole family
Speaking of children and seniors, gardening is suitable for them as well; heck, only babies aren’t able to garden (but they’d want to)! Age plays no role in the garden, so there is no need for segregation, making gardening the ideal family activity.
7. The social benefits of gardening
Of course, gardening can be a solo activity but it’s more fun when you have other people by your side. Apart from family members, you can invite friends over to your home garden. On the other side, there are community lots where you will get to meet other people and share your gardening experiences. This will do wonders for your mental health!
8. A healthier diet
There are several types of gardens, from floral ones to herbal gardens. However, growing an organic vegetable garden is a great way to adopt a healthier diet. Once you are able to put tomatoes, pepper, or cucumber on the table, having grown them from seed, you will truly know what you are eating.
The satisfaction of eating your own organic produce will be so great that you’ll soon start refusing to eat junk food. Since the vegetable you pick in the garden behind the house are always fresh and free of pesticides, the health of your family will start improving.
9. Building self-esteem
We have mentioned earlier how gardening is a process without many disappointments, unlike everyday life. The chances of your startup garden becoming a success are far greater than that of the garden failing, so you will learn to trust yourself more.
Since you are going to break a sweat while planting, seeding, tilling, etc. you will feel a satisfaction that will build your mental strength, even if you’re a shy person. Furthermore, being in tune with the earth adds the necessary dose of composure and motivation to get through the toughest of days.
As you have seen from our examples, gardening comes with a lot of overt and hidden health benefits. Gardening is not merely a physical activity but a mind-relaxing hobby ideal for people of all ages. Even your diet will improve if you grow some vegetables on the side.