What are some of the most amazing health benefits of gardening? Well, plants can reduce your stress and anxiety levels, according to studies. If you’re one of the 84% of people who say you feel stressed at least once per week then it’s certainly time to grab your tools and head out into the garden.
You don’t just have to plant shrubs and flowers, either, as there are plenty of great fruits and vegetables you can grow that you can use in your home recipes. Here’s how else you’ll benefit from regularly getting out into the garden.
State of the Plate reports that the average American eats just one portion of vegetables per day and fruit 5.8 times per week. This is far below the recommended 2½ cups of vegetables per day and 2 cups of fruit each day.
Gardening gives you the opportunity to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables which will improve your access to these foods. Plus, research has found that growing your own produce increases the likelihood of you eating it.
Eating fruit and vegetables from your own garden is also a healthier choice as there are more nutrients in them, they’re organic, and they won’t have been covered in fertilizers or pesticides.
One of the biggest benefits of eating the produce you’ve grown is that it’s cheaper than shop-bought items. Seeds cost just a few dollars and platefuls of fruit and vegetables can come from one pack.
Gardening is one of the most creative things you can do. It’s all about shapes and colors and getting them to work well together. For best results, you need to check the hardiness planning zone where you live. This will help you select annuals and perennials that will thrive in your garden. It’s also possible to get creative with plants from lower zones.
For example, a zone 2 plant should thrive in zone 6. Things such as digging the right size hole, pruning, designing plots, and pulling plants up and starting over are all good creative tasks.
Science has found that creativity plays a big part in mental health. Studies conclude that creative people have less stress, anxiety and depression. They also report feeling happier and more positive about life. This is well worth knowing about the health benefits of gardening.
Improved Physical Health
Just 23% of Americans get the recommended amount of physical exercise. Risks associated with lack of exercise include heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and cancer. Gardening is great for your physical health in a number of ways.
It’s estimated that gardening can burn around 300 calories in just one hour, so it’s a good cardiovascular workout. As you’ll be digging, bending, pulling, and preening you’ll work lots of muscles too.
Being outside also exposes you to vitamin D which is crucial for your bone health. Vitamin D can also improve your mood and lower your chances of depression.
Supports Social Bonds
Many Americans don’t own a garden. If you’re one of them, there’s no need to worry as there are plenty of gardening opportunities available at community gardens. Community gardens have an extra benefit in that they encourage social interaction. 36% of Americans say they experience serious loneliness.
By participating in regular community gardening projects you get to spend time working with others. It’s a great teambuilding activity and it helps people feel connected to their local community and neighborhood.
Social bonds can boost self-esteem, improve mental health, and help regulate sleep patterns. Studies have even found that older people who are involved in community gardening projects are less likely to develop dementia.
Since there are some solid health benefits of gardening you can take advantage of, it’s fair to say this activity is more than simply a hobby. It’s a way of life that should form a big part of your regular routine, whether you’re more into growing flowers or harvesting home-grown veggies (or both!) Do this and you’re sure to be healthier and happier.
Article by Jennifer Alli