Gardening can give you as many healthy vegetables and plants to harvest and eat later, but the time and labor spent nurturing these green things have some surprising benefits too.
A Healthy You
Getting down and dirty does not only give you that sense of fulfillment after an afternoon’s work but gardening actually has proven benefits!
- Elevate stress-relief and self-esteem – a Dutch study concluded that people who do gardening had a measurably lower cortisol levels than the ones who don’t. Cortisol, the “stress hormone”, have been linked to immune function, obesity, memory and learning problems and heart disease.
- Higher heart health and lower stroke risk – Regular gardening cuts stroke and heart attack risks by up to 30% for those over 60. As we’re well aware, too much sitting is dangerous to health, so break it up with lit
tle spurts of activity. Do your gardening for 15 minutes in the morning and then another 15 minutes after work.
- Improve hand strength and dexterity – Hand strength and dexterity diminishes as we grow older. Gardening can be a great exercise for those hand muscles to keep them rigorous and agile.
- Immune regulation – Constant exposure to dirt and “friendly” soil bacteria builds your immune system and alleviates symptoms of psoriasis, allergies and asthma as studies found.
- Depression and mental health – keeping your body moving can give you that feeling of therapy. In fact, “horticultural therapy” is giving proven results for patients with depression and mental illnesses. Physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and the satisfaction of the work appear to be the factors which make gardening a therapeutic activity.
Gardening lets you grow plants that keep the environment green and at the same time, helps you keep fit and healthy without paying for expensive gym memberships. Laboring over plants day to day may seem such a hassle for some people but its actually a hobby that bears fruitful end results.