Why Gardening is Important
Gardening is one of the healthiest activities you can do, both mentally and physically. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to spend quality time with your family members.
Research has demonstrated that people who regularly garden are 30% less likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than those who don’t.
1. Fresh Vegetables
Fresh vegetables are an integral part of a balanced diet, providing numerous essential vitamins and minerals. Not only that, but they’re often more cost-effective than processed or canned foods as well. Plus, fresh veggies add an extra dimension to meals with their delicious taste!
They provide a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, they can be cooked and utilized in many different ways.
One of the best ways to ensure you are getting a balanced diet is by eating at least 2 cups of vegetables daily. Not only will these nutrients aid in fighting disease, improving overall well-being, and increasing energy levels, but they can also provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables are any herbaceous plant whose fruits, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs, stems or leaves can be harvested for food consumption. Most vegetables are annuals while fruits typically reside in perennial ecosystems.
Commonly available fruits include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, avocado, and eggplant; grapes, strawberries, and cherries may also be found.
No matter the variety, always check each piece to ensure it is fresh. Look for bright colors, no browning, and no bruises or dents.
Additionally, inspect the stem ends and feel each vegetable. Tomatoes should feel firm, not soft or rubbery; cucumbers and zucchini should feel solid as well.
To maximize the nutritional value of your fruits and vegetables, visit farmers’ markets when possible. They offer a great opportunity to purchase local, organic produce while supporting your local farmers.
Eating healthily and balanced is the foundation of a long, vibrant life. Try to incorporate fresh vegetables into your meals as often as possible, making sure to include various colors for maximum nutritional benefit. Doing this will guarantee you get the recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals.
2. Lower Stress Levels
Gardening is an excellent way to relax and de-stress. Studies have even demonstrated that gardening has more of a calming effect than reading a book or performing another stressful task, while also improving your mood.
Gardening has long been linked to the reduction of anxiety and depression, as well as providing people with an opportunity to connect with nature and spend time outdoors. Furthermore, gardening stimulates serotonin production – a chemical in the brain that induces feelings of contentment – leading to greater levels of happiness overall.
Studies have also discovered that gardening has been linked to improved physical health. The physical exertion of digging, raking, and mowing can burn as many calories as an hour at the gym – which is great news for anyone wanting to boost their overall well-being and prevent future health problems.
Gardening can also be an ideal activity for children and adults who don’t meet daily minimum recommendations for physical activity. Many adults don’t get the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, which may lead to health issues like diabetes or anxiety.
A study in 38 paved gardens in Manchester, England, discovered that residents who were given ornamental plants such as shrubs, trees, and climbers experienced a marked reduction in their perceived stress. This was corroborated by healthier patterns of cortisol hormone levels, plus other well-being benefits like feeling happier, more relaxed, motivated to improve their gardens, and pride in their living environment.
No matter the size of your yard or garden, the benefits to your health and well-being are plentiful. Enjoy it with family and friends, or just for yourself.
Gardening is an excellent form of exercise, combining aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30 minutes of gardening can burn up to 150 calories, while an hour of yard work could burn as many as 300 calories.
Gardening not only helps you lose weight, but it can also make you healthier and feel better. Studies have demonstrated that gardening reduces your risk for heart attack or stroke, increases bone density, and strengthens muscles; it may even lower cancer and osteoporosis risks.
While gardening, you can perform functional movements that mimic whole-body workouts – like squats while digging or lunges while weeding and carrying bags of mulch or fertilizer. After a long day in the garden, these exercises may leave you sore but that’s perfectly normal!
To reduce soreness after gardening, warm up with light stretches and some light movement before beginning your session. Stretching will loosen muscles used in bending and pulling over the garden bed, so there will be less pain or discomfort afterward.
For those new to gardening, it’s essential to start slowly and increase your activity level as you become comfortable. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and take frequent breaks for water intake and refreshment.
Before beginning an exercise program, it’s essential to consult your doctor first. Some health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes can make exercising more challenging. Start slowly with moderately intense activities such as jogging or walking, or low-impact sports like swimming and tennis.
4. Social Interaction
Gardening is an outdoor activity that promotes health benefits. Studies have linked it to stress reduction, improved moods, and faster healing processes. Furthermore, gardening fosters imagination and creativity by immersing oneself in nature.
Research has also demonstrated the power of gardening to foster connections with others and foster a sense of belonging and community. In New South Wales, Australia, for instance, a community garden program has proven successful at improving well-being and reducing stress for disadvantaged groups.
Recent research examined the influence of school gardens on sixth-grade class pupils’ social interactions and perceived emotions. Participants were asked to write about their own experiences while also observing activities taking place in the garden.
Overall, pupils showed more social interactions and positive emotions during school garden lessons than science lessons. It appears that garden lessons provide a conducive learning environment for social learning since they provide frequent, long-lasting opportunities to interact with classmates.
There are also ways in which gardening can benefit mental health and well-being during this pandemic. For instance, Olmsted County, Minnesota’s local garden is offering residents a chance to get outside and engage with nature – helping keep people connected even while staying at home due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
This review seeks to develop a theory of change and conceptual model for the health and well-being impacts of community gardening as an environmental-health activity. Drawing upon both quantitative and qualitative evidence, this model will serve as the basis for creating and delivering garden-based environmental-health programs.
5. Better Sleep
Gardening has long been linked to improved mental health and sleep – both essential for overall well-being. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that gardening may aid memory recall and even prevent dementia from developing, according to some studies.
Gardening provides physical activity and can be an excellent form of exercise, especially for those suffering from anxiety and depression. This is because gardening causes the body to produce endorphins which reduce stress levels and foster a feeling of well-being.
Another advantage of gardening is that it strengthens your immune system. This is because gardening helps absorb vitamin D from sunlight, which may reduce your risk for multiple sclerosis, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate cancer, and other illnesses that weaken this organ.
Gaining some sunlight in the morning can not only aid your circadian rhythms – essential for sleep – but it may also boost energy levels and elevate moods. Studies have confirmed this connection.
Gardening is a physical activity that challenges all major muscle groups. Although this can leave you with a sore and fatigued body, gardening also contributes to improved sleep patterns.
Gardening can put you into a “flow” state, which helps focus on the task at hand rather than all other distractions. This same state of mindfulness or meditation is experienced when practicing these practices.
One of the greatest advantages of gardening is that it helps you relax and reduce stress. Not only that, but it can improve your mood as well as give you a sense of optimism about life. Furthermore, gardening boosts self-esteem and confidence – essential factors in getting adequate rest each night.