Article by Samantha Young
Many of us love gardening and don’t need an excuse to do it, but for those of you who do, here are 15 reasons why gardening is good for you.
Gardening may seem like a chore for some but with a multitude of benefits, a little pruning can go a long way. From banishing stress to burning calories and saving you money, here are 15 reasons why you should be gardening.
- Beats Depression
In a study, individuals who showed common symptoms of depression were instructed to garden for six hours per week. Not only was a measurable improvement shown after three months, these benefits continued months after the program ended.
- It’s Great Exercise
A form of low impact exercise, gardening isn’t only good for the joints, it also burns anywhere up to 300 calories per hour.
- Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Thirty minutes of moderate exercise in the backyard, two to three times per week, can significantly prevent high blood pressure. This is exceptional news for your heart and can help you avoid life-threatening complications in the future.
- Develops a Strong Posture
All that digging, mowing and bending develops all the major muscles in the back and legs. These stretching movements encourage flexibility which can decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
- Strengthens the Immune System
As you spend more time in the outdoors, you’re more likely to take in Vitamin D from the sun’s rays. This has been proven to boost your immune system whilst promoting the uptake of calcium.
- Relieves Stress
Studies have shown a better response in those individuals who gardened compared to those who read indoors after completing a stressful task. Aside from encouraging happy feelings, it lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Encourages Mindfulness
Immersing yourself in nature whilst carrying out simple tasks is an easy way to become more present. This sense of lasting calm can be taken into the everyday stresses of life.
- Improves Brain Health
A study covering a period of 16 years showed that those who gardened regularly in the 60s and 70s had a 36% and 47% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners respectively.
- Develops Attention Span
Too much dependence on technology can cause a myriad of issues from irritability to attention span problems. You can reverse this “attention fatigue” with the repetitive tasks of gardening which require effortless attention in natural surroundings.
- Avoid Nasty Chemicals
If you grow your own food can enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables free from harmful fertilizers and pesticides.
- Persuades You to Observe a Better Diet
Having instant access to your own produce also provides an easy supply of your five-a-day.
- Saves You Money
Aside from the nutritional benefits, creating your own self-contained vegetable patch is a quick way to save money.
- Promotes Wildlife
Wildlife fanatics can admire an array of colorful bird species by planting some easy-to-maintain species, including Mahonia and Crocus.
- Improves Relationships
Research has shown that those who spend a considerable amount of time out in the natural world have a better ability to empathize with others. Not only can this improve relationships with others, it may also develop a sense of awareness for the environment.
- Makes You Thankful
Tending to your own plot of land can encourage feelings of gratitude and a sense of awe as you admire creation and the beauty of nature.
Visit your local garden center and dedicate a little time to sprucing up your back yard. Very soon you could be enjoying one or more of these many benefits.
Article by Samantha Young