7 Healthy Benefits of Gardening
An abundance of scientific research suggests that caring for plants can also do wonders for your own wellbeing. The physical exercise can contribute to a healthy weight and blood pressure levels, and just interacting with flora can improve your mood and mental health. Below are 7 known health benefits of gardening:
- Gardening Burns A Lot of Calories: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) you can burn about 330 calories doing 1 hour of light gardening and yard work– more than walking at a moderate pace for the same amount of time.
- It Can Lower Your Blood Pressure: Just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity most days of the week can prevent and control high-blood pressure. Gardening or raking leaves for 30-45 minutes is among the activities recommended by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
- Spending Time Outside is Good for Your Bones: When you are outdoors your skin is exposed to the sun which prompts your body to make vitamin D. This vitamin– also found in fish and fortified foods like milk– help your body to absorb calcium, a mineral essential for bone formation according to the National Institute of Health. (Just don’t forget the sunscreen!)
- Growing Your Own Food Can Help You to Eat Healthier: Besides the physical exercise you’ll get tending to a vegetable garden, a productive plot can also promote a better diet by supplying fresh, healthy produce. According to the CDC only 1 in 10 Americans eat the recommended 2 cups of veggies and 1-1/2 cups of fruits per day for necessary nutrients and to reduce risk of chronic disease. Gardening helps to develop a lasting habit of eating fresh produce and the American Society for Horticultural Science theorizes that it may also make it more likely for children to try foods they may not have eaten before.
- Gardening Can Relieve Stress: A 2017 Preventive Medicine Report looked at 22 different case studies that positively correlated gardening with a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms. Some hospitals use planting and flower arranging as a type of rehabilitation for people recovering from injuries, strokes, surgeries and other conditions. It gives a sense of control over a situation when they might otherwise feel helpless– and for most of us, nature provides a respite from stress.
- It Can Provide A Sense of Community: People who worked in allotment gardens had significantly better self-esteem, total mood disturbance, and general health compared to those who did not garden, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Public Health.
- Gardening Can Make You Happier: The act of growing plants may also help boost your mood. Gwenn Fried, manager of Horticulture Therapy at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation said: “The thing about gardening is that you have to have faith in the future. Growing something green, something real, something alive, is a hopeful thing to do.”
So, let’s all roll up our sleeves– there is no better time than Spring 2020 to get digging, planting and weeding!
some content: Good Housekeeping