While some view gardening as a great, advantageous hobby to pursue, some view gardening as a daunting task. That is unfortunate because unbeknownst to many, gardening is actually pretty beneficial to your health.
A great many looks at gardening less as a hobby, and more as an art. As you cultivate your garden, you also cultivate your health. Let’s look at some of these supposed benefits, shall we? See for yourself why it’d be worth the while.
1. Grow your own vegetables
One clear, bright-as-day benefit of gardening is that you can grow your own crops. I doubt we’ll need to explain the benefits of eating vegetables, so let’s move on to suggestions.
You should really grow whatever it is you want to consume. You may start with tomatoes, for example. Learning how growing tomatoes will be a great first step. Also, they provide multitudes of dietary/health benefits. The same goes for growing blueberries! And if you don’t have the space to plant a bush, instead grow them in pots.
Another great option would be growing potatoes as well. Because they come from the same family as tomatoes, it makes good sense that they should be planted together. However, since they are brethren of sorts, they can also be infected with the same diseases. Therefore, it is good to plant them only near each other. Distance is key to successfully planting them together.
2. Enjoyable aerobic exercise
The thing about gardening is that it can hold your focus for so long, that you don’t even realise the amount of sweat dripping off of you. Once you get going, you will be kept busy, and only minimal amounts of motivation is necessary.
The ergonomics involved in gardening will help optimise your body. Stretching, pulling, reaching, lifting, and lunging are all part of gardening. This will work your muscle fibres and help with flexibility, stamina, strength, and etc.
Say you’re taking care of a tree; you need to water it just enough, mulch around its base, pruning, and tree topping (if needed). All that is required in order to keep your tree healthy. So much so that once you’ve incorporated this into your routine, you will have accomplished a lot of exercise!
3. Vitamin D
Gardening means being outdoors (for the most part). This means that you are exposed to the sun. The sun gives off Vitamin D, which in turn helps our bodies use calcium. As we all know from drinking our milk, calcium keeps the bones strong.
Vitamin D also helps stave off diseases. But even though it is very beneficial, it is still best to protect your eyes with sunglasses, and your skin with some sunscreen. You can now start to see the advantages of making this a daily routine. Though you might be fatigued, you come out of the routine stronger every day.
4. Mood-boosting benefits
Gardening has the potential to fight stress better than other hobbies. There a quite a number of flowers and plants that are considered as natural mood-boosters. A few of them are as follows:
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The most popular, beautiful flower comes first. A rose’s scent is almost second to none, but, it turns out that the real healing value of roses is actually in the sight of those majestic blooms. The vision itself is already enough to cause a therapeutic effect.
Another popular one, mostly drawn in kids’ cartoons. Imagine having one of your own row of bright yellow sunflowers in your backyard. In the afternoon breeze, you can see them dancing. This can be incredibly uplifting. It can be a sort of happy-pill ingested through vision.
As a bonus, when they’re done for the season, you can harvest their seeds. Sunflower seeds, as it happens, contain phenylalanine — a natural compound which has been shown to play an essential role in regulating mood. That’s compound interest working for you!
An excellent herb both in the garden, and indoors on a sunny windowsill as well! Active compounds that have been shown to exhibit strong antidepressant effects are found in oregano. Also, another bonus is that they actually make for fantastic seasoning in many meals.
Onions have a great chance of improving your mood. Onions can increase dopamine activity in the hypothalamus. This in itself is already a strong antidepressant effect. Also, onions are one of the easiest plants to grow in the garden, and they’re positively loaded with heart-supporting, immunity-boosting nutrients.
5. Hand strength and dexterity
Growing older, it’s, of course, no surprise that our strength and accuracy with things aren’t at their prime anymore. This can both lower the amount of hobbies, chores, and/or activities we are capable of doing. That’s where gardening comes in.
Gardening is physical exercise. Taking care of the soil, planting the seeds, bending over to grab this, lunging down and stretching yourself to reach an area, and even lifting a bucket of water can optimize your body. Therefore, this effectively staves off inability (albeit, for a while as some things are inevitable).
There are a few pieces of research found online that have documentations of stroke patients recovering through the activity of gardening. Alternating the use of your right and left hands to balance your body, and using your non-dominant hand for more straightforward tasks is one of many exercises to keep your brain functioning well as you age.
Gardening reduces the feeling of loneliness. How? Well, since you are outside, gardening fosters an environment for interaction with others who go outside as well. It connects people.