Gardening can improve your health and reduce the risk of many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Gardening can have immediate and long-lasting health benefits. Working in your garden can increase muscle tone, improve bone health, help you lose weight and improve your overall health. Most importantly, regular gardening can enhance your quality of life and improve your mental health.
Gardening strengthens your immune system
Gardening can strengthen your immune system in several ways:
- High-intensity sunlight may reduce stress.
- Moderate UVR exposure may reduce colorectal cancer.
- According to one study spending 20-minutes outdoors can give your brain an energy boost.
- Working in your garden can boost your vitamin D. As a result, your body can absorb calcium which is critical for a strong immune system.
- Breathing in phytoncides increased white blood cells, helping your body fight off diseases and infections.
- Gardening is like free aromatherapy. Natural scents can help you relax and feel calmer.
- Exposure to germs found in the soil during childhood could help you develop a stronger immune system.
Gardening burns calories
Doing your own gardening will not only help you save money, but it will help you burn calories too. There is always something to do, fix, repair, plant or maintain in a garden. If you want to burn calories at home, gardening is an excellent option. Gardening can be low-intensity or high-intensity exercise. According to the CDC, you can burn 330 calories per hour working in your yard. If you are pulling weeds in your garden, you can expect to burn up to 400 calories per hour. But heavy yard work (hauling rocks or gravel, digging) can burn up to 600 calories per hour. Raking burns about 350 calories per hour.
Gardening can lower your risk of stroke
It’s important to work in your yard regularly. Working in your yard will raise your heart rate. Gardening daily is ideal, but working in your yard at least five days a week is critical for reducing your risk of stroke. To prevent injury, you should start slowly and gradually build up your gardening routine. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise routine.
Backyard gardening is low-intensity exercise, and if done daily, it can have long-term health benefits. Daily activities such as gardening can lower the risk for heart problems that may lead to stroke. Another benefit of getting your low-intensity workout while gardening is that it has a lower risk of injury.
Gardening to prevent another stroke
If you have already suffered a stroke, consult with your doctor to determine if gardening is safe for you. Your doctor might recommend some moderate yard work. If you are taking part in a stroke rehab program, your rehab team might help you develop a yard work routine.
Gardening may help with depression
Mycobacterium vaccae is a harmless bacteria found in soil. This bacteria may increase the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control your mood and cognitive function. The result can be similar to what serotonin-boosting antidepressant drugs do for your mood.
Gardening can manage stress
Gardening can act as a stress reliever while imitating the effects of stress, such as the flight or fight response. This can positively impact your body by helping protect you from the harmful effects of stress.
Gardening is meditation in motion. After mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, or raking leaves, you may find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations. Gardening allows you to concentrate only on your body’s movements. As you shed your tensions through working in the yard, you may find that focusing on your tasks will help you stay calm.
Working in your yard can boost your feel-good endorphins. Gardening is also a way to distract you from your worries. Gardening pumps up your endorphins.
Being surrounded by flowers will lift your mood
Flowers are the most effective health moderators. They can have an immediate effect on your happiness.
Gardening for strong bones
Gardening can help you prevent osteoporosis. To help you prevent osteoporosis, you need to build weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening routines into your gardening routine. Many gardening activities force you to work against gravity, which is the best exercise for bone health. Although gardening isn’t considered a super difficult exercise, digging holes, pulling weeds, turning compost, and pushing the lawnmower require a lot of weight-bearing.
According to a University of Arkansas study, pulling weeds can make your bones stronger. University researchers found that women 50 and older who worked in the yard at least once a week were less likely to develop osteoporosis.
Heavy gardening can prevent or control high blood pressure
Just 30-minutes of yard work five days a week can prevent and control high blood pressure. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to stay physically active. According to the National Institute of Health, activities such as gardening can help you battle high blood pressure.
Gardening can help you eat healthier
If you have a kitchen garden, you can produce fruits and vegetables without pesticides. Growing your own vegetables means that your family will consume more vegetables, resulting in a healthier diet. The produce that ripens in your backyard garden has more nutrients than store-bought produce. Store-bought fruits and vegetables must be picked early which results in a lower nutritional value. By eating the vegetables you grow, you are also reducing your carbon footprint.
If you want to grow your own produce in your backyard garden, consider the following tips:
- You don’t have to be an expert to grow your own produce.
- Start with a few fruits or vegetables to keep it simple.
- Even small gardens can produce a significant amount of fruits and vegetables.
- Make sure your garden gets at least six hours of sunlight.
- For better soil and nutrient control, use a raised garden.
- Talk to local gardeners for advice.
Gardening may lower your risk of dementia
According to research the physical activity associated with working in your yard can lower the risk of developing dementia. Two independent studies found that those who gardened regularly had a 36% and 47% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners. The studies followed people in their 60s and 70s for up to 16 years.
Gardening improves your strength
Working in your garden produces more than flowers and vegetables. Gardening also leads to stronger muscles. Digging, mowing the lawn, raking, and pulling weeds are all activities that can improve your strength. Gardening is a great way to keep your muscles as strong as possible.
Gardening for gum and dental health
Sun exposure while working in your yard can also improve your health. According to a Tufts University study, regular sunlight may promote gum and dental health.
Gardening promotes sleep
Gardening is exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Gardening activities such as lawnmowing, weed-pulling fall under the category of light to moderate exercise. Other yard work such as hole-digging, wood-chopping, and shoveling could be classified as vigorous exercise. Whether it’s light or moderate exercise, working in your yard uses every major muscle group in your body. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that those who regularly garden are more likely to get a solid seven hours of sleep every night.
Gardening gives life meaning
Gardening offers us a way to escape our hectic lives. It gives you control and responsibility for what you grow. Gardening is more than exercise or taking care of chores. It is a passion that can bring passion and peace to your life.
Enter an altered state of consciousness through gardening
Gardening can transfer your mind into an altered state of consciousness. This is a spiritual state you can experience working in your garden.
Remember, gardening is not a contact sport; in other words, if you are in pain, don’t do it. If you have health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or high blood pressure, check with your doctor before you begin a regular gardening routine.