The Health Benefits of Gardening: Why You Should Start Today
Gardening is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding activities that you can do to improve your health.
The physical activity involved with gardening helps reduce stress while allowing you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Gardening also provides an excellent way for people of all ages and abilities to stay active, as it’s low impact exercise that can be tailored to each individual’s needs. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your overall well-being, look no further than your backyard!
Here are just some of the many reasons why starting a garden today could benefit both your mind and body:
Physical Health Benefits
Gardening has numerous physical health benefits, making it an excellent activity for anyone. First, it can help with weight management since it involves getting up and moving around. You will burn calories while gardening, and if you’re doing vigorous work such as digging or hauling materials, you may even break a sweat! In addition, gardening can help improve posture and flexibility since you are bending and reaching while tending to plants. This also helps strengthen muscles and bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis over time.
Moreover, research has shown that exposure to natural sunlight benefits our bodies beyond just providing vitamin D. Sunlight can boost energy levels, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep quality. So, by spending time in your garden, you get these benefits and some natural exercise!
Mental Health Benefits
Gardening can also have a positive effect on mental health. Research has found that gardening is associated with improved mood, lower levels of stress, and better overall well-being. Additionally, studies have shown that gardening provides increased control over one’s life, which can benefit those who may deal with anxiety and depression because it allows them to take ownership of their own lives. Gardening also requires patience and a sense of accomplishment — which are essential for overall mental health.
In addition, gardening can be therapeutic. It allows you to be in nature, connects with natural cycles, and practice mindfulness — all activities linked to improved mental health.
Social Health Benefits
Gardening has a unique potential to bring people together and promote social health. It can be an ideal way to meet new people, catch up with old friends, teach kids about nature and the environment, and help foster a strong sense of community. When community members join forces to work on a shared garden, there is an opportunity for conversation and connection. This can make gardening a great way for people needing more robust social networks to increase their sense of belonging and social interaction.
Gardening also has the potential to help combat depression and anxiety. Many studies have linked gardening with improved mental health, mainly in a social setting. Even for those living alone, gardening can effectively reduce stress and connect with nature. In some cases, being outdoors in natural environments can have calming effects on the mind and body.
Environmental Health Benefits
Gardening can positively impact the environment, which is especially important in our culture today. Using pesticides and fertilizers can cause air and water pollution, but by utilizing natural composting techniques and organic growing methods, gardeners can reduce their environmental footprints. Additionally, planting trees can improve air quality as well as provide a habitat for birds and other wildlife. Finally, by growing plants in their yard, people can reduce their reliance on commercially produced food grown with chemical pesticides and transported long distances. All of these things can lead to a healthier planet and contribute to the overall well-being of everyone in America.
Gardening can also help reduce pollution in our cities. Planting trees and shrubs around urban areas acts as a natural air filter, trapping dust and other pollutants before they have a chance to enter the atmosphere. This not only helps improve air quality but also reduces the amount of heat that is trapped inside city buildings. Additionally, gardening reduces stormwater runoff by absorbing and storing rainwater onsite. This prevents runoff from carrying pollutants into waterways, thus reducing the amount of pollution in our rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Tips for Starting Your Own Garden
If you want to reap the health benefits of gardening, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Get creative with your space: No matter how little your yard or balcony is, it’s possible to find a way to start growing something! If you need more outdoor space, consider starting with a container garden. This will allow you to experiment with different vegetables, herbs, and flowers without taking up too much space.
2. Choose plants suited for your climate: It’s essential to consider your local weather when selecting plants for your garden. For example, if you live in a humid environment, you will want to choose drought-tolerant and heat-resistant plants. By selecting plants that thrive in your environment, you can maximize your yield and increase the chances of success for your garden.
3. Start small: Gardening doesn’t have to be an overwhelming project — start with a few plants and build up from there. Choose vegetables that you’ll use, such as tomatoes or peppers, and herbs like rosemary and thyme. Once you start seeing success with your smaller garden, consider expanding it to include more plants and varieties.
4. Remember the soil: Healthy soil is the foundation for any successful garden. Test your soil regularly and supplement it with compost or fertilizer if necessary. Doing this will ensure you’re providing your plants with the best possible environment to grow in, making them stronger and more resilient.
Gardening can bring a variety of benefits to your mental and physical health, as well as the environment. Not only does it provide an opportunity for exercise, but it also allows you to connect with nature and reduce stress. Additionally, growing plants in your own yard can help reduce your environmental footprint by reducing chemical pesticide use and stormwater runoff.
At Extreme Life Changer, we believe everyone should have access to nature and its health benefits. We strive to make gardening accessible to people of all backgrounds and skill levels so that they can reap the help of this beautiful activity.
So get out there, start digging in the dirt, and experience all the joy gardening offers!