Did you know that tending to your garden can reduce your risk of heart disease, tune up your immune system, strengthen your bones, and ward off depression?
That’s right: gardening isn’t just about putting fresh local produce on the table to enjoy with your loved ones. It can also do wonders for your own health and wellbeing in the long run!
If you’re looking for a fun, therapeutic hobby that will have a tremendous impact on your health and wellness, look no further than gardening. Below are the top five reasons to go get in the dirt, pull a weed, and plant a seed!
Good for your heart
Studies suggest there are cardiovascular benefits from doing the manual labor of gardening. If you think about it, all the digging, planting and weeding will almost inevitably contribute to a healthy weight and blood pressure levels! Hard manual work burns calories and strengthens your heart. This study found that those who engaged in gardening (for less than 1 hour weekly) reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by 12%. And those who gardened for more than 2 hours weekly reduced their risk of death from cardiovascular diseases by a whopping 37%!
Reduces stress and anxiety
Gardening is not only beneficial for your body, but also your soul. If you’re feeling stressed or anxiety during these difficult times, getting a little dirt under your nails could help!
Taking care of your garden gives you a chance to focus on something simple and pleasant. Putting your mind and body to work, seeing things growing and thriving has tremendous therapeutic potential.
You can choose gardening as a solo activity, but it can also be an opportunity for spending quality time with your family and friends. And, as you undoubtedly already know, being around your loved ones helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety like nothing else!
Strengthens your bones
Regular, safe exposure to a healthy amount of sunlight helps your body synthesize adequate amounts of vitamin D. This serves to increase your levels of calcium (a mineral essential for bone formation), which, in turn, benefits your bones.
Helps support your immune system
Tending to your garden will benefit your immune system in several ways. First off, digging and weeding exposes you to healthy bacteria that live in soil, giving your immune systems a much-needed tune up. Secondly, gardening helps inhibit chronic inflammation (immunity’s worst enemy) by preventing vitamin D deficiency and keeping stress levels at bay.
Helps you eat healthier
Let’s not forget that if you get serious about gardening, you’ll get to eat all the delicious veggies, fruits and herbs that you grow. And, if you’re eating what you’re growing, you are almost inevitably consuming more fresh produce than you would otherwise! Upping your intake of nutrients and fiber helps reduce the risk of chronic disease, improve immunity, and even promote weight loss.
Moreover, home-grown fruits, veggies and herbs are much safer than store-bought in terms of pesticide contamination, and if they are freshly picked, they are also considerably higher in beneficial nutrients than those you would buy in the supermarket!
The bottom line is: while gardening, by itself, does not prevent illness, it contributes to a healthy lifestyle like no other hobby we can think of. So what are you waiting for? Grab your tools and get in the dirt!