7 Health Benefits of Gardening That You May Not Have Been Aware of

A woman is gardening to experience the health benefits of planting flowers.

Introduction

Gardening has been around for thousands of years. The main purpose of gardens has been to grow food, though many gardens today are larger, public places full of beautiful, blooming flowers. While they are still used to grow food today, there are many other ways gardens are beneficial. In fact, the act of gardening probably yields more benefits than the garden itself.

There are many things about gardening that can help improve your physical health and mental well-being. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, you can benefit from these facts.

Physical Health Benefits

  • Gardening is a source of exercise.

You may not realize it, but you actually move around a lot while gardening. Walking, shoveling, pulling, bending, and digging all can be considered as mild to moderate cardio activities. People tend to break a sweat when gardening from all the physical work it requires. Just know that gardening can help burn a few calories. A well-planned community garden provides quantifiable and identifiable nutrients to all who reap the rewards of the harvest.

  • Gardening can improve your strength.

This is especially true for the elderly or individuals who don’t do work that often requires their hands. Digging, pulling, and planting are good ways to increase and maintain the strength in your fingers and hands. The act of using larger gardening tools can help improve total body strength. So in addition to aerobic exercise, you’ll also be building strength.

  • Gardening provides food that’s beneficial to your health.

In addition to beautiful flowers and plants, you can grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, and even herbs right in your own backyard. This is a fact that you probably already knew, but it’s nice to think that instead of going to the grocery store and spending tons of money on colorful fruits and vegetables, you can go into your garden and pick them for free. 

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Just be careful with how you decide to get rid of weeds and pests in your garden. You have the option to use pesticides and herbicides but they’re full of toxic chemicals and that type of exposure can lead to serious health problems. You and your garden will benefit the most from using natural solutions like saltwater or vinegar sprays to get rid of unwanted pests and weeds.

  • Gardening exposes you to Vitamin D.

When you think of Vitamin D, you probably think of bone health and calcium. This is true, as Vitamin D regulates calcium levels in the blood, which is essential for the growth and maintenance of the bones and teeth. So, while you may have been spending time on sites like:https://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/best-invisible-braces/ to keep your teeth healthy and attractive, gardening will help boost your results. In addition to food sources, sun exposure is a good way to receive Vitamin D, but remember that this doesn’t mean that you should skip out on using sunscreen.

Mental Health Benefits

  • Gardening can reduce stress.

Tending to your garden in the peace and (hopefully) quiet of your backyard can be just the thing you need after a long day at work. Nature itself is known to have calming effects on our minds and bodies.

  • Gardening can improve cognitive (brain) function.

A few studies have shown that gardening may have a role in helping your memory. This has been shown to be effective in patients suffering from dementia. Studies have also shown that gardening boosts your mood and can help ease feelings of anxiety, and even more specifically, a type of anxiety called eco-anxiety. This is related to feeling weary of climate change, which can cause a sense of hopelessness.

  • Gardening can aid in addiction recovery.

As a mood booster, gardening is particularly effective in helping recovering addicts as a form of therapy in addition to other treatment plans. It’s a positive distraction that promotes self-confidence by learning a new skill.

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Conclusion

So you probably already knew about the physical health benefits of gardening, but not many people realize that it has mental health benefits as well. Gardening is sometimes seen as a popular hobby for the older generations, but younger people can benefit from it too. It has also been noted that even children benefit from gardening. Exposure to dirt and soil helps to build their immune systems. Even individuals who can’t be outside for extended periods of time can benefit from indoor gardening.

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