If you thought that gardening is all about growing plants to make your home look good, then you are gravely mistaken. It turns out that nurturing and growing plants does wonders for your well-being. The benefits of gardening make for a long list and range from better health to better nutrients in your diet. Gardening includes a lot of physical exercises that can help you achieve fitness, healthy weight, ideal blood pressure levels, and so on. There are several health benefits of gardening and we’ll be mentioning some of them in this article. Keep reading to find out more.
- Calorie Burning
Gardening can be considered as a moderate-intensity exercise and hence, there is a long list of health benefits of gardening. You will burn around 330 calories by just one hour of light gardening and other yard work. This figure is a lot more than that burned by walking at a moderate speed for the same period of time (As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)). Besides, gardening will also help you to achieve a lower BMI (Body mass index).
- Lowers Blood Pressure
Doctors suggest that just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity will help in the prevention and control of high blood pressure. And what better and easier alternative than gardening. Tilling or raking leaves for about 30 to 45 minutes is the ideal recommendation to gain the benefits of gardening.
- Good for your bones
There are not one or two but plenty of health benefits of gardening. When you go out in the sun, your body is prompted to produce Vitamin D. This helps your body to absorb calcium, which is essential for your bone health.
- You can grow your food
You can build a vegetable garden at your home. This will serve you with fresh produce that can be accessed anytime. You won’t have to visit the grocery store and spend money there. Hence, Farming seasonal vegetables in your garden will save you time and money. You will have full control over fertilizers and weedicides, so, you can go fully organic which would give you healthier produce.
This will also develop a long-lasting habit of eating enough fruits and vegetables.
- Relieves Stress
The health benefits of gardening also include a decrease in depression and anxiety. Did you know that some hospitals even employ planting and flower arrangement as a form of rehab for recovering patients? Gardening also helps people build their mental health besides building their physique.
A Dutch study confirmed this by running a test on two people. They were asked to complete a stressful task and the conclusion was that gardening for 30 minutes after the task resulted in low cortisol levels (Cortisol is the stress hormone). So, get in your garden after a rough day. You must be aware that overcome stress because it create huge risk to health. Thus, this benefit of gardening is a great advantage.
- Makes you happier
Growing plants also boosts your mood. Gardening has been linked to a better quality of life and a decrease in mood disturbance. However, there is a reason as to why gardening makes you happier. According to studies, inhaling M. vaccae, which is a healthy bacteria living in the soil, increases serotonin levels and decreases anxiety.
- Environmental Impact
A garden will allow you to make a positive impact on the environment and do your part. You could recycle your kitchen waste products and use them as compost for your plants. This will reduce the waste generated from your kitchen and in turn provide your plants with natural fertilizer. This is a huge benefit if you want to avoid or limit using chemical fertilizers. You would be decreasing the pollution level and groundwater contamination. Garden plants also help in reducing erosion by holding the plants in place.
- Better Sleep
Research at the University of Pennsylvania says that the light activity involved in gardening will give you a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential to having good health and glowing skin. Many of us don’t get proper sleep and as a result, suffer from so many other problems. Hence, this benefit of gardening cannot be ignored.
- Improved Hand Strength
Gardening involves a lot of work that you need to do by hand. So, all that digging, pulling, planting, raking, etc. does a lot more than tending to plants. Gardening activities lead to increased hand strength. Hence, this is a great way of keeping your hands and fingers strong and in great shape and form.
- Grow Self-Esteem through Plants
If you are someone who wants to develop a new hobby, then gardening is the perfect option for you. Someone who has always felt not good enough will feel like someone who can grow things after all that hard work involved in tilling, planting, and nurturing your plants. It feels great to accomplish new tasks and being able to grow a garden instills new confidence in you.