The Amazing Health Benefits of Gardening for Your Body & Mind
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While the world continues to obsess over the latest technology and more than half of the Earth’s population spends their lives between concrete walls, some prefer to ‘grow’ green fingers and reconnect with nature and their roots. Being surrounded by flowers is, without any doubt, a relaxing pastime. But the benefits of gardening go far beyond spending quality time outdoors and growing your own food.
Establishing a connection with the land has therapeutic effects on both the body and mind. Let’s start with the obvious: growing your own food means that you can consume more fruits and vegetables, and if you’ve always wanted to go vegan, now’s your chance! It also means clean eating, as you are the one who decides which fertilizers and pesticides to use and can, therefore, grow your own organic food.
Gardening is a relaxing hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But that’s not all there is to it. Having green fingers can result in amazing health benefits, all backed up by science! Just take a look at the numbers in this infographic; they are mind-blowing!
Health benefits of gardening for your body
Gardening is an excellent workout. Depending on what you choose to do in your garden, it can be an easy-going, low-impact exercise or it can become a serious training session. Think about moving pots for an hour; that should get you sweating. In fact, three hours of moderate gardening is the equivalent of one hour spent in the gym (based on calories burned). You can burn up to 330 calories in just one hour of light gardening. Here are some other incredible benefits:
- Gardening can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 27%.
- It can reduce the chance of developing obesity by up to 62% in men and up to 46% in women.
- Lowers the risk of dementia by up to 47% in people in their 60s and 70s.
- Decreases the likelihood of osteoporosis.
- Increases your immunity; being out in the sun helps the body produce vitamin D, which helps calcium absorption and strengthens your immune system.
Health benefits of gardening for your mind
The benefits of gardening spread beyond physical exercise. Have you ever noticed how digging in the soil makes you happier? It’s not just the activity itself, which is quite soothing for the mind, but also the beneficial bacteria in the dirt that is to blame. Mycobacterium vaccae is a bacteria that is naturally found in the soil and which triggers the release of serotonin, a mood enhancer.
Simply being surrounded by flowers lifts up your spirits, and the act of gardening can get you ‘in the zone’ – an altered state of consciousness that can unlock your true potential. Furthermore, gardening reduces cortisol levels, the stress hormone, more effectively than indoor reading.
So, what are you waiting for? Go out and do some gardening, either in your own backyard or in the nearest community garden!
Read more about gardening and learn how to choose the best garden sheds and log cabins for your backyard on WhatShed.co.uk.
What can you do with all those juicy, fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden? Why, try some delicious recipes, of course. Go on a cooking holiday and enhance your kitchen skills!