People are spending more time at home than ever, and it’s important to find hobbies and interests that are as beneficial as they are enjoyable. Gardening takes the cake when it comes to hobbies with benefits.
Not only can having a home garden increase your property value, but it can also turn your yard into a more peaceful, inviting area. Most importantly, it can benefit your health.
You don’t have to have a green thumb to start gardening. A low-maintenance garden is easy to take care of while still enjoying the benefits. Plus, once you start getting the hang of it, you can always expand and invest more time.
Still not convinced? Let’s cover five ways gardening can benefit your health, so you can make the most of digging in the dirt.
1. It’s a Great Workout
Whether you can’t participate in strenuous workouts or you’re just looking for an enjoyable way to build strength and improve your cardiovascular health, look to gardening.
Digging, planting, weeding, and watering all require you to use your muscles. Gardening burns calories and is great for your overall heart health. It also contributes to improving your circulation and vein health while making it easier to manage your weight.
If you have mobility issues or have a hard time getting around, you can still enjoy the physical benefits. Try using raised beds or a vertical garden to get in a workout without overdoing it.
2. It Reduces Stress
According to the American Institute of Stress, 77% of people experience stress that affects their physical health. When you consider the state of the world and everything we’ve been through over the last year and a half, it’s no wonder stress has become such a problem.
Gardening is a natural way to reduce stress by:
- Allowing your mind to focus on something
- Achieving goals
- Spending time in nature
- Taking care of something that needs you
Spending time in the garden can go beyond basic relaxing. It can boost your mood and make you feel happier. There are actually healthy bacteria that live in soil called M. vaccae. By breathing it in while gardening, that bacteria can boost your serotonin and help with the symptoms of anxiety. So, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
3. It Gives You Some Much-Needed Vitamin D
The average American spends 90% of their time indoors. Unfortunately, that often means our bodies aren’t getting the Vitamin D they need to function properly.
Not only can the sunlight make you feel happier, but the Vitamin D absorbed into your body can boost your immune system and increase the amount of calcium in your bones. That’s important for everyone, but it’s especially helpful for older individuals who often struggle with bone density issues.
4. It Can Empower You
Gardening is a wonderful way to boost your self-esteem and help you to feel more empowered. Not only does it put you in control and give you something to look after, but simply tending to your garden regularly can give you more confidence and improve your appreciation for your own body.
When you plan out a garden, you can let your creative side shine. You choose which gardening projects to take on, and you can choose to challenge yourself or stick with something more familiar. With floral gardens, you can mix and match plants to create a beautiful piece of art in your yard. Or, you could take on a large project that completely changes the look of your landscaping.
When you achieve the goals you set during the planning stage, it can give you an even greater confidence boost and motivate you to take on even more.
5. You Can Improve Your Diet
Throughout the pandemic, the popularity of fruit and vegetable gardens soared. While floral gardens are beautiful and necessary, you can be more sustainable and improve your overall nutrition by planting your own produce.
Growing your own food is an easy way to get the nutrients you need while knowing exactly where everything came from. You’re in complete control of how you grow, so you don’t have to worry about unsavory practices or the use of pesticides. If you have kids, growing your food makes it fun to teach them about nutrition. They’ll love playing around in the dirt and seeing what can grow from the seeds they plant. If you want to start a vegetable garden, keep the following tips in mind:
- Start small
- Use high-quality soil
- Plant crops that grow well in your region
- Space your plants correctly
- Research the right watering schedule(s) for each crop
We could go on when it comes to the health benefits of gardening. But, if you’ve been on the fence about planting, we hope these “pros” will make your decision easier. Whether you’re trying to take charge of your physical or mental health, or just want to improve your overall well-being, it’s hard to find a solution better than digging in the dirt.
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