Gardening is an activity that has been around since the dawn of civilization. Still, it’s only in recent years that science has begun to understand the many physical and mental health benefits associated with getting your hands dirty. So whether you have a small window box garden or a sprawling backyard filled with vegetables and flowers, gardening can benefit your overall well-being.
Having a garden and growing your own food brings a sense of pride. It can also provide healthy food and fantastic health benefits that help to:
- Raise Vitamin D levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of Osteoporosis
- Better moods
- Increase your quality of life
- Provides light exercise
- Maintains your circadian rhythm
- Boosts your immune system
You will use every major muscle group when you are gardening. I like to call it horticultural therapy! It is one of the healthiest hobbies seniors can participate in, and healthy eating has amazing health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits and positive impacts on human health when gardening!
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Improved Mental Health
Studies have shown that spending time outdoors in nature can improve mental health. One way to stop obsessing over current events in your life is to shift focus. A great way to do that is through gardening. Gardening requires you to be outdoors, surrounded by plants, grasses, trees, and other natural elements. The combination of fresh air and nature has been proven to reduce stress levels, improve moods, provide an improved sense of well-being, decrease anxiety, and increase self-esteem. In addition, having your own garden can bring a sense of pride to older adults looking for new hobbies during retirement.
Increased Physical Activity
Gardening is considered a form of moderate exercise due to its repetitive use of muscles (digging, raking) as well as its need for balance and coordination (bending over). Regular gardening can help maintain strength and stability in your legs and increase flexibility in your arms and shoulders. There are also cardiovascular benefits while gardening. The positive effects can increase blood flow and circulation.
Improved Cognitive Function
Planting seeds or caring for plants can require focus and concentration, which helps strengthen attention spans and memory skills like memorizing Latin names for plants or remembering when to water them. Spending time with nature also stimulates visual acuity, which helps sharpen mental focus leading to improved cognitive function overall.
Gardening allows for social interaction with others interested in the same activity, such as joining a local gardening club or attending garden tours/events with friends/family members. Many school gardens and community gardens are popping up in urban areas too. It is also an effective way to connect with like-minded individuals within the community while providing support through shared experiences or advice on various topics related to horticulture/botany/landscaping etc.
Taking part in activities such as gardening reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), which can lead to relaxation both physically & mentally during times when stress levels are high (i.e., work deadlines). Additionally, being in nature boosts serotonin levels which helps alleviate depression & anxiety while calming our minds & improving our moods simultaneously! Long days at work during the week can be forgotten about on the weekends while gardening. Staying in the present moment is an effective treatment for stress.
Nothing feels better than seeing something grow from seedlings into full bloom, whether edible fruits/vegetables or vibrant flowers! Being able to look at something with pride, knowing that you helped nurture it from start to finish, is incredibly rewarding & provides a great sense of accomplishment! The gardening process includes researching, planning, and a lot of hard work that you can feel good about once you start seeing results. There is no better sense of accomplishment than when you can pick your own fruits and vegetables from your garden beds. Another great idea is flower gardens. Providing fresh flowers to friends and family can bring great accomplishment.
Within a matter of weeks, we all experienced food shortages from a stressed supply chain in the United States. As a result, record numbers of people are starting a home garden. Families started vegetable gardens in whatever green space they could find. Starting a garden can teach your children problem-solving skills and show them how to grow fresh produce rather than just going to a grocery store. It also exposes children to new skills and physical exercise rather than just playing video games. Another benefit of gardening for children is to work on their fine motor skills.
Growing fruits & vegetables allows you access to fresher produce than what is typically found at grocery stores & farmer’s markets; plus, there’s no need for pesticides or harmful chemicals if organic methods are used! In addition, eating organic produce and foods grown from home gardens means fewer processed ingredients, which is also beneficial for maintaining good health overall! Numerous studies show that one of the best ways to have a positive impact on your health is through nutritious foods the whole family can enjoy.
Connecting with Nature
When we take part in activities such as gardening, we become more connected with the environment around us because we must be aware of how different elements interact together & how they affect each other positively or negatively depending on their placement near one another (i..e., companion planting). This connection leads us closer to understanding how essential nature is & why it needs protecting now more than ever before!
Exposure to Bacteria
We tend to think of bacteria as something wrong or dangerous, but some types can benefit our health. Exposure to these “good” bacteria strengthens our immune systems by teaching them how to recognize and respond appropriately when confronted with foreign substances or pathogens. In addition, soil contains many helpful microorganisms that can help build up our defenses against illness-causing germs–think of it like an immunization boost!
Gardening offers numerous mental and physical health benefits that we should all consider taking advantage of if given the opportunity—whether it’s on a large scale or just tending a flower pot outside our windowsill! From improved cognitive functions such as memory retention to increased physical activity due to repetitive motion, gardening should become part of our daily routine if possible! Not only does it provide us with nutritious food sources, but it also gives us an opportunity for social interaction within our communities while connecting us even further towards understanding the importance of preserving nature around us…so, get out there & start digging up some dirt today!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any product(s) on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Always consult a licensed health care professional before starting any supplement or nutraceutical. Especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing medical conditions. Individual results may vary. These are from my own experience and the experience of others and only our opinions.