Gardening is an important and often over-looked part of spring cleaning. We all know that gardening is fun, but it can substantially improve your health. Research indicates that contact with nature has immense health benefits both to your body and mind.
You may be thinking that you need a big gardening space to achieve this, but a simple backyard gardening is enough to relax, have fun, stay fit, as well as offer you delicious food much like a dream vacation.
Gardening gives you an opportunity for a whole body workout as you reconnect with nature. Spring Cleaning Week looks at five of the most surprising ways that a little digging can help you improve your health.
Reduced anxiety and stress
Is your job draining to the point of making you get home feeling mentally fatigued and stressed? What you need to do is to get out and start gardening. The comforting atmosphere, sights and sound offer a relaxing and calming effect as well as a “gardening glow.” Studies have gone further to postulate that a significant number of people who garden are less likely to be stressed.
This is because the beautiful nature helps in reducing cortisol levels, which is the hormone that causes stress, poor health, and a weak immune system. In addition, results show that the effect is felt much longer after leaving the garden. Reduced stress levels are vital in preventing lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetics, heart diseases, etc.
Great way to work out for the whole family
Once upon a time gardening was thought to be an activity that was mostly for the elderly. This has changed over the years as younger people join the gardening club. One reason for this is that gardening has been linked to weight loss.
The surprising fact is that the moderate and simple form of physical activity has been squeezed into the same category as hiking, cycling and walking regarding the number of calories burnt. Unbelievable, right? So how about instead of going for your usual evening run you grab a pair of gardening gloves?
Gardening is among the few painless, fun and enjoyable forms of exercising. Through pulling, stretching, pushing and lifting you will get enough workout for the day. The fact that you will need to attend to your plants every day means that you will also get your daily portion of the workout. We all know that regular exercise is more like an apple a day in keeping health issues at bay. You also get the benefit of keeping fit without using up all your money in an expensive gym membership.
On top of this, gardening is a fun and enjoyable physical activity that can be done both by the elderly and the young. It is the ideal workout for the family. Through experiencing gardening, you can connect and bond with your family.
Improved mental health
Gardening is not only good for your physical health, but it is also critical for your mental health as well. While you generally use your hands, it also works on giving your brain a thorough workout. Gardening gives you an opportunity to think through problems and find answers.
Furthermore, it requires research on the different types of plants that may do well in your climate and soil. With time you may encounter some problems that may need you to rack your brain for solutions. This will undoubtedly elevate your creativity as well as give you a better understanding of your plants.
The pleasure and satisfaction resulting from gardening have a therapeutic advantage that promotes mental health. It also helps in keeping your sensory organs alert, thus keeping your mind engaged. According to studies, gardening is one of the most affordable and effective ways that help prevent mental disorders.
Strengthened immune system
Vitamin D also called sunshine vitamin, is essential for a good immune system and healthy bones. So, next time you go out into the garden soak up in the sun for a dose of vitamin D that’s essential to your body. Caution should be taken when going out to avoid sunburns. Sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses will do.
Before you go calling someone who has a little dirt under their fingernails hear this. A little soil under your fingers is a sign of good health. Surprised? Well, thanks to beneficial bacteria that are present in the soil, you can Instagram your soil-stained hands and be okay. The bacteria works on improving your immunity which means that you will be able to fight infections as well as get sick less. A little gardening also reduces and prevents certain allergies.
What could be healthier than plucking your fruits and vegetables from your own grown garden? As you grow your food, you can opt to use natural and organic fertilizers, which ensures your harvests are always at the peak and most nutritious. The benefits this attaches to your health are numerous. If we are what we eat, then growing our own food will make us better people, right? We all know what a trip to the organic store does to the pocket, which is the reason why you will appreciate your own garden yielding more. You’ll learn how to save money on a healthy diet by growing your own food.
Apart from above benefits, gardening has been linked to other health benefits such as improving the health of your bones, heart, and lowers the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Besides, if you want to burn calories reach out to your garden tools and burn up to 300 calories an hour. It's high time you grab a shovel and start digging.
If you still need convincing, check out Spring Cleaning Week's article on why gardening is good for your health.
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