Have you gained an interest in gardening over the last several months?  Along with the benefit of knowing how and where your food is grown, gardening has several health benefits that can be enjoyed from everyone ages 10 to 100!
  1. Gardening Reduces Stress
If you are like many people, your stress level has increased over these last several months. Gardening is one of the best ways to reduce stress. “In one study, subjects were asked to perform a stressful task and then asked to either perform 30 minutes of gardening in their allotment gardens or 30 minutes of reading.

While both groups experienced a decrease in stress, the gardeners experienced a significantly greater decline in stress (as measured by salivary cortisol, a stress hormone), as well as a full restoration of positive mood; the readers actually experienced a further decline in mood.” Elizabeth Scott, MS Very Well Mind 

Maybe take a quick 20 min break from you favorite book and deadhead your flower pots or pull a few weeds, your stress level will thank you.

 

2. Gardening burns calories
Gardening has been shown to be an effective way to burn calories!  Yes, you can make your yard beautiful and fit into those jeans you have been dying to wear (who are we kidding, I may never wear jeans again)!  But all vanity aside, gardening is a great way to burn extra calories within your day. “Working in the garden restores dexterity and strength, and the aerobic exercise that is involved can easily use the same number of calories as might be expended in a gym. Digging, raking and mowing are particularly calorie intense; there is a gym outside many a window.” Sir Richard Thompson Royal College of Physicians
3. Gardening encourages healthier eating
If you struggle to get in the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day growing your own might be what you need!  “Backyard gardening can inspire you to take an interest in the origins of your food and make better choices about what you put on your plate,” says Dr. Helen Delichatsios, an internist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “When you grow your own food, you savor it more because of the effort it took to get to the table.” Heidi Godman Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

There really isn’t anything that can beat the taste of a garden fresh salad, home grown tomato or a strawberry right from the vine.  Give it a try, we bet you will be eating more fruits and veggies in no time!

4. Gardening can boost your mood
If you are looking for a way to boost your mood, getting out in the garden might be just what you need.  The exposure to vitamin D, experiencing the sounds and smells of nature and getting your hands in the dirt have been shown to be a mood booster.  “Gardening is an activity that seems to help a lot of people get into a ‘flow’ state,” says integrative psychotherapist and couples counselor Hilda Burke. “This means that you don’t notice the time passing, aren’t simultaneously thinking over other things, making plans, or rehashing the past. It helps people switch on to the present moment — in other words, to be more mindful.”  source Sarah Garone Brit + CO

5. Gardening increases your exposure to vitamin D

Getting outside in the garden increases your exposure to vitamin D which according to Healthline helps fight disease, reduces depression, boosts weight loss and can help improve bone health.  So along with making your yard beautiful and growing healthy food, you also are doing your body a lot of good!

6. Gardening is good for your brain health

As we continue to move down the list of reasons why gardening is good for your health, this may be one of the most important; gardening is good for your brain.  In a study of 2,805 men and women, they found that daily gardening predicted a 36% lower risk of dementia.While there are no guarantees against dementia and Alzheimer’s, gardening has been shown to be a great way to get the recommended exercise to help ward off the disease along with encouraging healthier eating habits by growing your own food.

7. Gardening is good for your self confidence

Seeing a small seed grow into something beautiful like a flower or into something you can put on your dinner table can really provide a sense or purpose and achievement, both playing big roles in self confidence.  Even if your green thumb needs a little time to grow, give gardening a try and enjoy the confidence and purpose soon to follow!

why gardening is good for your health

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