Bare fingers and toes break into the soil — there’s nothing like connecting with the Earth, the scent of lemon verbena absorbing into your skin. How often do we dull our senses in favor of convenience and the numbness of living life on autopilot? Are you aware of the health benefits of gardening?
More and more headlines read “Gardening is good for your health” for a reason. What some may view as a simple hobby actually makes life more fulfilling, and the health benefits of gardening impact the mental, physical and spiritual realms of life, as well.
Why Gardening Is Good for You
Did all the green stuff on your plate go to the dog as a child? Did you use ranch more often on your pizza than on a salad?
Maybe you thought it was icky as a kid, but green is good. Try planting some green stuff and find out why gardening is good. You may discover your feelings about pushing away those good-for-you veggies changes. When you put in the hard work, why wouldn’t you want to eat the fruits — and veggies — of your labor?
The sensory experience of gardening is enrichening and enlightening. You’re providing a whole ecosystem for bugs, birds and bees, while also supporting the pollinators that make food tastier and help continue life on the planet. You don’t have to build a garden the size of a house. Container gardens, small succulents along a window seal or suspended terrariums all offer natural goodness for the mind, body and soul. My, my — isn’t gardening good for your health? 😊
Gardening is the ultimate metaphor for growth. When you garden, you’re both the observer and the active participant to new life.
The experience challenges your body, but it doesn’t have to feel like labor you push through with a frown. You can get a workout without thinking of it that way. Your senses come alive, and you gain so many health benefits when you garden. Here are five health benefits of gardening.
Researchers at NASA found that the health benefits of gardening prevented astronauts from losing it in the harsh conditions of living and working in space. The positive stimulation of the senses offers significant stress relief.
Lowered Heart Attack Risk
All you need is 30 minutes of gardening to cut heart attack risk by over half. For moderate activity, that amounts to a 54 percent decrease in mortality from heart disease and a 31 percent reduction in acute events like strokes and heart attacks. Those who participate in more vigorous activity alongside gardening cut heart deaths by 66 percent!
In the middle of the concrete jungle, smelling and seeing nature lifts your mood, and master gardener Ron Finley says it’s nearly impossible not to smile at a sunflower. Do you disagree?
In both the ‘60s and ‘90s, southern Los Angeles suburbs faced economic challenges to their community that left them living in a food desert — 32 grocery stores were to be built about two decades ago, and after another decade, south LA had only one. Finley spearheaded a guerrilla garden and developed a project that plants free community gardens. It’s a truly inspirational story worth checking out via podcast over at environmental nonprofit, For The Wild.
Gardening clearly possesses the power to unite communities through food, empathy and hard work. Why not propose a community garden at the next neighborhood meeting, stressing the importance of gardening in our life, or use your yard to spread the good sensory vibes?
Better Hand Dexterity and Strength
Hand and eye coordination are important to develop and maintain throughout life, not just at a young age. As you get older, you may develop arthritis and other similar conditions.
Your range of activities quickly gets limited. Gardening maintains hand muscle, dexterity and strength, along with other tissues and body parts, and that makes gardening good for your health. Many rehabilitative programs incorporate gardening for its mental and physical health benefits, especially among stroke sufferers.
Don’t push gardening too far since repetitive motions sustained for extended periods also can harm your hands and feet, such as developing carpal tunnel and tendonitis. Alternate hands as you work.
Not a fan of hitting the gym? Save money and have fun with your exercise regimen by working in your garden.
Gardening is mainly moderate exercise that works out all parts of the body. The CDC indicates 30 to 45 minutes of activity in the garden burns between 150 and 300 calories. Exercise-like actions include squatting, bending, lifting, twisting and stretching.
Working in the yard is more than a chore. You may wonder why older people get up early to maintain their flower beds and vegetables. It’s so early! But gardening has several health benefits that can help keep them — and you — feeling youthful, alive, healthy and fulfilled. Just a half hour in the garden can relieve your stress and help you get in your daily workout.
Take Advantage of the Health Benefits of Gardening
The importance of gardening in our life can’t be understated. What’s not to love? Now, eat all that green stuff — and enjoy it!
For more information about the For The Wild Podcast, check out their newly launched Drip campaign HERE.