Gardening, in itself, could produce some of the healthiest, unprocessed foods to put in your body. This is the most obvious way gardening can improve your health, but that’s just scratching the surface of the many benefits of creating and maintaining a garden. Getting your hands dirty and being in touch with beautiful, living plants can promote positivity for the mind, body and soul. Think about it, you’re bringing things to life by nourishing, watering and putting in the effort to get your plants flourishing. But, how can it improve your health?
Mental and Emotional Health
Maintaining your garden comes with physical labor that can sometimes be a nuisance after a long day at work or school. It’s, a lot of the time, necessary so that your plants don’t die, so we have to put up with it. However, once we get into the grove of things it can be quite soothing. Putting your hands to work to dig up some soil, water your plants, pull up roots and generally maintain your garden is a personal activity that allows you to focus.
Stress and Anxiety
When you’ve gotten home after a busy day, gardening can significantly reduce your stress levels and soothe any mental fatigue. Gardening has been proven to reduce stress after performing a stressful activity, much more than reading or watching TV does.
Our gardens are, typically, located outside. To maintain our garden, we usually have to step outside, unless you have an indoor or urban garden. Studies have shown there is an increase in sadness and depression when we stay indoors or at home for most of our day. Gardening promotes us going outside and enjoying everything that makes the outdoors a lovely place to be. Just like plants, we too need some sun to keep us energized and healthy.
Stepping outside to manage our garden and water our plants can promote happiness and joy. This is also true when we step outside and see fully grown plants produced by our gardening efforts. Feelings of success and accomplishment makes us happy and joyful, whether or not anyone is there to acknowledge it.
Anytime we step outdoors or perform labor, our health benefits from it. We’re active, moving and putting our body to work. We’re not saying it’s exactly exercise, but it promotes healthy movement and activity.
Heart Disease and Diabetes
With gardening comes physical activity and movement that can promote healthy living. It also reduces stress, both of which can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases that affect your lifestyle health. Any fruit or vegetables produced from your garden also promote a healthy lifestyle, putting less of a negative impact on your heart.
Physical Activity and Exercise
Okay, we’ve said gardening isn’t exactly exercise, but that is only true if you want it to be. Putting in the work to lift heavy tubs of soil, pull out deep roots, dig out patches of dirt for planting or carrying a watering pail can burn a ton of calories in hindsight. You’ll be breaking a sweat and feeling as if you’ve just done a full body workout. Even squatting over a gardening patch can promote an increase in heart rate and leg workout.
The health benefits of gardening are uncanny, as it promotes both physical and mental health. Putting in the work and dedication to build a garden and bring plants to life allows us to have a healthy lifestyle. Everyday, we can look forward to doing an activity we actually enjoy rather than sit around waiting for something to occupy our minds.