Gardeners have long been aware that their favorite hobby can, in many ways, be a lifesaver, helping them to achieve improved levels of health, but it is only recently that research has caught up to what they’ve known all along. Here are some of the very real health benefits we can all get out of spending time in the dirt, making our gardens look even more beautiful:
A Healthy Heart
Perhaps it’s not so surprising that spending time gardening can cut your risk of stroke. After all, gardening is a very physical thing, which will give you as good a workout as jogging, strength training or an hour spent at the gym.
Heavy gardening has also been found to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease, which is why The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommend gardening to patients who are suffering from heart problems.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity and overweight is a huge problem in the western world right now, and although there are believed to be a number of causes for the condition, this clinic, for example, believes that low testosterone levels could play a part, and this website believe junk food plays a big part in the problem, there is no denying that a lack of exercise also plays a role. Since you can burn as many as 330 calories when participating in light gardening for just one hour, it is easy to see how regularly tending your garden can help to keep you fit, healthy and at a healthy weight.
Cuts Osteoporosis Risk
Osteoporosis is more commonly associated with older women, but it is an illness that can strike both men and women as they age. Luckily, staving off osteoporosis can be as simple as planting and weeding and generally tending your garden. The effort involved in doing so gets all of the muscles moving and increases strength, which is exactly what we need to do if we want to have healthy bones.
If you’re a gardener, this is something you surely know already. It doesn’t matter how hard your day at work’s been or how much you’ve been worrying about your kids/mortgage/bills, once you slip on those garden gloves and start tending to the flowers, all of your cares melt away, and you slip into a serene state that it’s hard to replicate in the rest of your life.
You’ve probably planted lots of flowers in your garden because they’re pretty and they add some color to your outdoor space, but did you know that simply being in the presence of flowers, seeing their beauty and taking in their scents can boost your mood and make you feel happier? Check out this link for more information on the4 benefits of surrounding yourself with fresh flowers.
Spending time outdoors, instead of slumped in front of the TV helps us to connect with the natural world around us and this and help to give us a natural appreciation of life, a gratitude of nature and a feeling of abundance. You just don’t get those kind of feelings when you spend all your time cooped up indoors.
You Enter a Flow State
If you don’t know what a flow state is, it’s definitely worth reading more about the subject here, but basically, a flow state is similar to the state you feel when you enter the zone during exercise. It’s a transcendent state where you’re totally focused on what you’re doing. When you enter this state, you feel fantastic, happy, focused and even transcendent. It’s a great way to feel, and gardening gets you there.
Beat the Blues
If you’ve ever been depressed, you’ve probably noticed that, when you’ve been able to get out into the garden, everything’s felt just a little bit better. This isn’t just because you’re out in the fresh air getting some exercise and doing something you enjoy; it’s also because the soil you’re getting dirty in actually has mood-boosting properties, which can increase serotonin levels just like many antidepressants do.
It Makes You a Better Person
If you’re a keen gardener, chances are you’re liked and respected by all who meet you. That’s because spending lots of time around plants helps to increase compassion levels. This is perhaps because people who spend time nurturing other living things are naturally more likely to extend their care and compassion to the people they come across in day to day life.
Keeps the Brain Busy
As we all get older, our brain cells begin to degrade, and we might start to become confused, slow and ultimately suffer from dementia. However, if we happen to be gardeners, our chances of getting dementia are as much as 47 percent lower than that of our non-gardening peers. It’s not hard to see why because gardening helps to keep body and mind active, requires us to solve problems and benefits our health in so many other ways that it makes sense we’d be more protected.
Boosts the Immune System
Having a strong immune system is of the utmost importance if we want to be able to fight off illness and disease effectively. Lucky for us gardeners, our favorite pastime just so happens to strengthen our immune systems. When we’re digging up weeds, sowing seeds and mowing the lawn, not only are we getting lots of vitamin D from the sun, but we’re exposing ourselves to all manner of materials in the soil, which can help to strengthen our bodies ready to fight off any infection.
As you can see, gardening isn’t just a great way to pass the tie and improve the look of your property – it has so many very real health benefits that, if you aren’t already a gardener, now might be the time to invest in a pair of garden gloves and a spade. Once you’ve read a few gardening resources, you will have no problem transforming your land and, as a direct result, your body too.