As our cultures increasingly become technologically obsessed and nature deprived, now, more than ever, is the best time to engage in beneficial outdoor activities like gardening. The benefits of gardening are apparently endless. Not only will digging trenches with heavy garden tools, pruning roses and planting bulbs vastly improve your physical health, but your mental health too. Here are 5 benefits of gardening:
1. Provides Natural Stress Relief
According to a research study in the Netherlands, gardening plays a major role in relieving stress. According to the research, it was found that gardening helps reduce levels of cortisol in the blood, a naturally occurring stress hormone in the brain. A simple gardening activity like watering your plants and seeing them grow is interestingly soothing. Researchers from NASA also found that gardening provides serious stress relief and positive sensory stimulation. These scientists found that planting and nurturing seeds, even in a small pot, provides great mental health benefits
2. Strengthens Your Immunity
Soil comes with a lot of germ and bacteria, something you probably do not want near your hands. Still, exposure to these microorganisms can help increase your immunity to certain diseases. According to research published in Science, soil contains beneficial bacteria which can help improve your immune system, help you fight off infections easier and get sick less often. Different Danish researchers found that working in the garden can also help prevent certain allergies as well as decrease their severity of a reaction.
3. Gardening Workout
Some of us are just not cut out for long hours in the gym. If the thought of lifting weights and pounding the treadmill for hours just doesn’t do it for you, then, you will be happy to know that you can get a good workout from gardening. Gardening is considered a moderate-to-high-intensity workout. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), you can burn up to 330 calories during a 1 hour of light gardening. This is more than lifting weights for the same amount of time. As a matter of fact, the National Institute of Health recommends 30 to 45 minutes of gardening three to 5 times a week. So the next time you feel like you need some good workout, consider mowing your lawn with a walk-behind string trimmer or even weeding out your garden.
4. Promotes Well-being
You have probably heard your neighbors or friends boast about the “lift” they get after a morning’s sweat in their garden. Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of gardening is the positive impact it can have on our mental health. According to research, gardeners generally have enhanced self-esteem, greater life satisfaction, and fewer feelings of fatigue and depression. These benefits seem to spring from a combination of awareness of natural surroundings, physical activity, cognitive stimulation and the feeling of satisfaction from accomplishing a task.
5. Social Benefits
Whether it is sharing tips with a passerby on how to grow something or allotment gardens that enable people to feel part of a community, gardening provides rich opportunities for people to connect. Most gardeners, myself included, are avid enthusiasts. We are always more than happy to share tips and ideas. Gardening competitions have also been seen to engender a positive community spirit, get people out of their homes to mingle with other gardeners.
6. Stimulates the Brain
While gardening involves working with your hands, it is also said to give your brain a good workout. This comes in when researching different foliage that thrives in your climates and soils, planning your garden layout, learning different gardening techniques. All these gardening activities stimulate the brain by motivating us to think through hurdles, devise solutions and get creative.
7. Increases your property’s value
Finally, a garden or landscaping design can be considered an investment for the future. A tastefully designed front garden or yard is sure to add curb appeal to your house, thereby increasing its overall value.
With all the benefits that gardening can add to your life, there is no reason why you should not enjoy the outdoors this season by planting, nurturing and growing a vibrant garden.
If you enjoyed reading about the different benefits of gardening, we would really appreciate your feedback! Don’t be shy and share your thoughts in the comments section. You never know who the next big gardening enthusiast is going to be, share this article with your friends and family and let them in on all the healthy gardening fun!