Many garden hobbyists look to their time tending plants as a necessary counterbalance to the busy, stressed out pace of modern life. There is something grounding about reconnecting with the natural world in even small ways that that can benefit your body and your mind and help feed your soul. Even here in the Arizona desert, there are ample opportunities for backyard and container gardening that can help fill your plate and bring more balance to your busy life.
Here are a few of the reasons gardening can be good for your health.
It gets you some outside time.
The simple truth is that most of us do not spend nearly enough time outside, breathing fresh air and feeling the sun on our skin. Between sitting at a desk all day, shuttling kids around, and taking care of everyday necessities, the only time we are outside for days at a time is when we are going back and forth between the house or the office or the store and the car.
It decreases your stress levels.
It can battle depression…and win.
Another study showed that when people with clinical depression participated in gardening for a certain number of hours each week, their symptoms improved over time period of the study. Even more importantly, the symptoms continued to improve even after the gardening aspect of the study ended.
It may protect your brain.
Research into the relationship between gardening and the incidence of dementia found that people in their 60’s and 70’s were regular gardeners had a 36% and 47% lower risk of developing dementia, respectively, than their non gardening peers.
It offers a good workout.
Gardening can be hard work and because it utilizes a wide range of muscle groups and requires you to move in different ways, it provides an excellent workout. Spending time tending your garden gets your blood moving while providing opportunities to stretch, build strength, and tone muscles.
It decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
Research indicates that gardening can decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis. In fact, the study showed that gardening was more effective at reducing this risk than aerobics, jogging, or swimming.
It can help prevent diabetes.
The natural exercise that occurs with gardening is an easy way to get the recommended amount of weekly exercise that can help prevent the development of diabetes. In addition, growing your own food can improve your access to healthy foods improving your diet and further decreasing your risk.
It boosts your health overall.
From creating more opportunities for physical activity to helping your body process Vitamin D, going outside and working in your garden offers some pretty significant health benefits. In addition to the specifics listed above, it has also been shown to improve sleep, improve mood, and improve our overall sense of wellbeing.
- What Kids Learn From Gardening (fillyourplate.org)
- What to Do In Your Garden This Month (fillyourplate.org)
- 6 Tips for Getting Your Warm Weather Garden Growing (fillyourplate.org)