Gardening is a part of “go green” lifestyle, and at the same time, it also encourages people to consume more organic vegetables and fruits. The fact is, gardening actually benefits your health.
Here are the benefits you can reap from gardening:
A recent study in the Netherlands asked two groups to complete a stressful task. Afterwards, one group gardened for 30 minutes, while the other group read indoors. The gardening group was reported to have better moods than the reading group, and they also had measurably lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Chronically high cortisol levels have been linked o immune function, obesity, memory and learning problems, and heart diseases.
Better mental health
In a study conducted in Norway, people had been diagnosed with depression, persistent low mood, or “bipolar II disorder” spent six hours a week growing flowers and vegetables. After three months, half of the participants had experienced a measurable improvement in their depression symptoms. Their mood continued to be better three months after the gardening program ended.
Improves immune system
Soil comes with plenty of germ and bacteria, which do not sound like something you want your hands on. The “friendly” soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae (which is common in garden dirt and absorbed by inhalation or ingestion on vegetables)—has been found to alleviate symptoms of psoriasis, allergies and asthma, all of which may stem from the weak immune system. This particular organism has also been shown to alleviate depression, so it’s actually really okay to get your hands dirty.
No matter our age, gardening is an excellent way to boost physical activity. It can help strengthen bones and muscles, improve our flexibility and ability to do daily activities, improve our balance, and promote longer, healthier lives. Unlike many everyday activities that only involve the arms, gardening uses the whole body as we move around digging, planting, weeding, and watering. The bonus point is, you can eat the results.
Gardening allows us to choose organic fertilizers and natural pesticides. It also gives us the opportunity to harvest foods at their peak, allowing them to accumulate nutrients. The fruits and vegetables we buy at supermarkets might lose their nutritional value when they were picked unripe for easier shipping.
Some research suggests that the physical activity associated with gardening can lower the risk of developing dementia. The combination of physical and mental activity involved in gardening may have a positive influence on the mind. And for people who are already experiencing mental decline, even just walking in a garden may be therapeutic. The sights, smells, and sound of the garden are said to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
Now we understand the benefits of gardening. It is really an enjoyable activity for the whole family, but it is important to stay safe during nurturing your beloved garden. So, always be sure to:
- Wear a hat, gloves, and sturdy shoes to protect you from UV rays and dirt
- Even if you wear gloves and hat, do not forget to use sunscreen
- Be prepared for mosquitoes and other insects
- Bring a water bottle with you as you need to stay hydrated
- Take breaks as needed, especially when first starting out