When it comes to hobbies that promote healthy, happy people, there are very few that can compete with gardening. People who garden have lower stress levels, more physical fitness, and are overall more healthy than their non-gardening counterparts. The added bonus of surrounding yourself with beautiful plants and delicious vegetables isn’t bad, but the true benefits of gardening are far greater than what grows out of the ground.
Gardening keeps you happy
We all live stressful lives. Between work, kids, and other obligations, we’re running around as busy as the bees in our garden for most of the week. Gardening provides that crucial down time that we all so desperately need.
“For many the peacefulness associated with gardening comes not from its social aspect however, but the opposite. It enables us to escape from other people. Tending to plants allows us to tap into the carefree part of ourselves with no deadlines, mortgage or annoying colleagues to worry about,” says Psychology Today.
Humans are nurturers at heart, and gardening provides an opportunity for us to be responsible for the lives of hundreds of living creatures. It’s this sense of being connected with nature and, in some small way, being responsible for it flourishing, that gives us a boost to our happiness day in and day out.
Gardening keeps your healthy
If you garden, there’s a good chance that you grow your own fruits and vegetables. It’s hard to get more local than your own backyard, so in this obvious way, gardening is good for your overall health. But it’s way more than that. In fact, gardening is a great way to get the moderate daily exercise that doctors recommend.
Think about all the gardening-related activities that give you a solid workout – squatting up and down, weeding, raking, digging, carrying heavy objects, hauling off debris, and the list goes on and on. Spending a few hours in the sun moving dirt around will help you work up a nice sweat.
Speaking of sun, there’s another wonderful health benefit of gardening – Vitamin D. Being out in the sun and soaking up those Vitamin D-filled rays is a good way to boost your mental health.
“Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms,” notes Healthline.com.
Vitamin D also helps boost your immune system and is vital to the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Be sure to use the proper protection and don’t spend too long uncovered in the sun. Skin cancer is a real risk, but it shouldn’t make you wary of gardening. Wearing long sleeves, applying sunscreen every hour, and wearing sunglasses and a hat is enough to reduce your risk.
Gardening keeps you smart
Gardening can be just as much of a mental workout as a physical one.
“While gardening requires working with our hands, it also gives our brains a workout. Planning the layout of the garden, researching different plants that thrive in various climates and soils, and learning gardening techniques encourage us to think through problems, devise solutions, and be creative,” says Alive.com.
This sort of brain activity can help to prevent cognitive decline in the elderly and help mitigate the effects of ADHD in kids.
If you think that gardening is just a hobby to make your backyard look good for entertaining – think again. Gardening is one of the best ways for people of all ages to stay happy, healthy, and mentally engaged.