Health & Fitness
Gardening can make you a healthier and happier person
Tech developments and scientific progress have made our lives easier in so many ways and provided us with the knowledge and tools to make healthier choices for ourselves. But ironically enough, it’s also a lot harder to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle in these modern times. In recent years, mental health issues have become rampant in all parts of the world, and no one seems to find time for self-care anymore.
So, how can we address an issue that has so many facets and focus more on wellness? As surprising as it may seem, it turns out that gardening can provide the solution to many of our modern woes. Contrary to popular belief, gardening is not just a nice way to pass the time or strengthen your connection with nature. Its perks go well beyond growing pretty flowers and vegetables. As any garden lover will tell you, this popular hobby also has several therapeutic properties and can be a great way to boost your mental and physical health. And if anecdotal evidence is not enough to convince you of these health and wellness benefits, there are also scientific studies to back these claims.
Unfortunately, most people think gardening is an activity reserved for those who have been blessed with a green thumb, when in fact, it has nothing to do with any magic inborn skills or talents. You don’t have to be a plant whisperer to start gardening. If you’re lucky enough to have a patch of land where you can grow your own flowers and veggies, and the willingness to learn some basic skills, you’re off to a great start.
So, if you want to learn more on the topic, here’s how gardening can improve your quality of life and make you a healthier and happier person.
A source of exercise
If you want to improve your fitness levels but you’re not thrilled about going to the gym, you’ll be happy to find out that according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gardening qualifies as exercise.
Far from being a sedentary hobby, gardening implies all sorts of moderate to high-intensity physical activities like mowing, digging, removing weeds, raking, planting, or pruning shrubs. While you’re tending to your greenery, you’ll be using all your major muscle groups, which means you’ll be getting a full-body workout. So, gardening is a very effective way to burn off calories, build muscle strength and improve mobility, flexibility and balance. Apart from that, you’ll also enjoy a more restful sleep after an intense day of gardening.
Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand in building a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, gardening can help with both aspects. Growing your own vegetable garden will get you one step closer to improving your diet by providing you with whole fresh foods packed with delicious flavour and nutrients.
You can start small by planting veggies that are easy to grow from seeds and expand your vegetable garden as you become more skilled and knowledgeable. If you’re interested in plants with potential therapeutic benefits, you can also plant cannabis seeds and grow your own herbs. So, your garden can become a source of well-being for the mind and body.
An instant mood booster
Spending time in your garden can help you forget all about your worries and put a big smile on your face. That’s because gardening, or more precisely the act of getting your hands in the soil, can increase your serotonin levels due to a bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae. So, it really doesn’t matter if you’re planting flowers, veggies or herbs. The mere fact that you’re getting dirt under your nails is a great way to reduce anxiety and keep depression at bay.
But since you’re putting in the effort to nurture a garden, it’s worth learning more about what plants you can grow and how to care for them. For example, if you want to grow your own buds, autoflowering seeds might be the best option, as they’re easier to care for and can better handle pests. The more knowledgeable you become on these topics, the easier it will be for you to reap all the benefits of working in the garden.
A boost of vitamin D
As a popular adage says, people are just plants with more complicated emotions, meaning we all need to drink enough water and get regular sun exposure to stay healthy. When we spend time in the sun, our skin uses sunlight to produce vitamin D naturally. Vitamin D plays an essential role in many biological functions, such as maintaining healthy bones and a strong immune system.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from vitamin D deficiencies because food sources provide very low amounts of vitamin D. That’s why regular exposure to sunlight is the best way to get adequate amounts of vitamin D, and gardening can obviously help you achieve that.
Maybe you’ve never thought of yourself as a particularly handy person who’s capable of keeping plants alive, let alone growing them from seeds. But if you overcome these preconceptions and give gardening a try, you’ll most likely come to the conclusion that it’s far from rocket science.
Doing something with your bare hands and seeing how your plants develop over time will give you an immense feeling of accomplishment. This can definitely improve your self-image and motivate you to take on bigger challenges. After all, if you’re able to grow plants from scratch and nurture a garden, think about all the other things that you might be capable of.
As you can see, there are plenty of health-related reasons to give gardening a try. From boosting your mood to improving physical fitness, gardening can help with all that and more, so now’s as good a time as any to roll up your sleeves and get to it.
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