How Gardening Can Benefit Your Health
Gardening can be a wonderful hobby and a great way to maintain the look and feel of your garden.
But, did you know it’s also good for your health? In this guide, we’ll be looking at several ways in which gardening can improve your health.
This guide will prove useful for anyone interested in gardening or looking to improve their health (or both, for that matter).
The Health Benefits of Gardening
So, without further ado, here are some of the top gardening health benefits…
A Dose of Exercise
The most obvious benefit of gardening is that it keeps you active. Whether it be raking, cutting the grass, digging, or chopping wood, gardening is a great source of exercise. Of course, some types of gardening will be more intensive than others.
Regardless, gardening uses each major muscle group; however, you don’t want to overdo it as you could end up feeling a bit sore the following day. Also, studies show that gardening work can prevent age-related weight gain.
Can Preserve Your Memory
Believe it or not but it’s known that exercise can enhance cognitive brain function; that said, it is debatable as to whether gardening in itself actually impacts memory. However, recent evidence shows that gardening could stimulate the growth of nerves within the brain that are relevant for memory.
A study in South Korea showed that a mere 20-minute gardening exercise for patients with dementia showed improved memory capacity in both men and women. Many other studies have shown similar results showing that gardening benefits people’s health in a wide variety of ways.
There are tons of ways in which gardening can bring down stress and anxiety.
Just being out and among plants and nature in of itself is beneficial for our mental health, but the fact it is also a hobby and project is stimulating in its own way; these combined facts are a fantastic recipe for relaxation and indeed, considering how harmful stress can be, de-stressing will, of course, have the opposite effect.
Gardening is also a good way of reducing eco-anxiety since it allows you to do something practical to improve the environment considering how gardening can benefit the local ecosystem; it’s worth noting that there are specific steps you could take too, rather than just benefiting the environment.
An example of this would be to grow and maintain plants that are beneficial for bees.
Gardening Helps Your Heart (Literally)
Did you know that gardening can improve your heart health? Digging, weeding, planting, and other gardening activities not only strengthens your heart but burns calories too (which in turn is beneficial for having a healthy heart). The cardiovascular advantages of gardening is a major plus that cannot be understated.
More Vitamin D
It’s easy to find yourself spending time indoors when life is busy, especially during the winter months. However, gardening regularly will help you keep up a good habit of getting outside regardless of the time of the year and with that comes access to sunlight.
Vitamin D is important as it heightens calcium levels in your body, which is helpful for your immune system, and of course, your bones. Just make sure to wear suncream (and yes, you should even in the winter months).
You Can Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Another notable health benefit of gardening is that it can improve your sleep. Research from the University of Pennsylvania in the US showed that those who garden can achieve seven full hours of sleep.
Growing Plants and The Best Gardening Methods
Gardening and its health benefits are clear to see, and the reasons listed above are just some of the many ways it can prove helpful. However, it’s important that you also know what’s involved in growing and maintaining plants and what some of the best gardening methods are.
Each plant will require its own care regimen, of course, so this should be a key consideration when choosing which plants to grow. It’s ideal to use completely composted yard waste as an effective growth medium.
Beyond the obvious (like watering as often and with as much water as you should apply), you’ll also want to space out your plants appropriately. Plants should be selected and located in a suitable manner. For example, some plants are not suited to full sunlight exposure.
As your plants grow and you water and maintain them, you want to make sure that you watch out for any bug damage or the presence of viruses/bacteria. If issues arise, make sure you can identify the issues and treat them accordingly. If in doubt, it’s best to hire a professional and make sure you wash your hands with soap if touching damaged or diseased plants.
During the autumn months, you’ll want to clean up foliage gathers. Further, it’s important to use the right fertiliser and that you prune damaged plant limbs.
Some other gardening methods worth considering are:
- Vertical gardening
- Container gardening
- Raised bed gardening
- Hydroponic gardening
There are many health advantages of gardening, including mental and physical health benefits. We hope this guide has helped you realise just how beneficial gardening truly can be and why it’s far more than just a little hobby, as gardening and health pretty much go hand-in-hand.