11 benefits of gardening for your health

Posted By: Adrian Medina

Gardening is a very relaxing activity.

But you already knew that, right?

It doesn't matter if you come to work and be exhausted or if you had a bad night.

At the moment you put on your gloves, work clothes and begin to notice the smell of the earth you just forget everything else. Times just flies while you are working.

What you might not know is that, in addition to relaxing, the health benefits of gardening are many, both for your physical and mental health.

In this post we are telling you about them.

11 benefits of gardening for your health

There are many studies that assure it, but those of us who have plants do not need anyone to tell us:

  • Caring for the garden is an activity that helps to combat stress and improve physical condition in people of all ages.

  • Its benefits are so many that there are even therapies that use gardening as a form of rehabilitation.

These are some of the main ones.

1. Keeps you in shape

While you're working you don't notice it. But at the end it is when you realize that you are exhausted.

Because garden care requires a lot of movement: digging, digging up roots, tying stems, pruning, seeding...

In addition, they are activities that operate dexterity, coordination and a little strength.

So when you work daily in your garden:

  • You strengthen the muscles: one day after an intense day taking care of your plants  you may have ended up with muscle laces. The efforts we make contribute to maintaining the strength and elasticity of the muscles.

  • Maintain joint mobility: Regular garden work also helps prevent arthritis and other joint problems.

  • You burn calories: Every hour you spend on garden maintenance, you are burning around 300 calories. More or less the same with an hour of fast walking or stationary bike at medium intensity.

Garden work is a mix of muscle and aerobic exercise, which is best for maintaining cardiovascular health.

And from there precisely derives the next benefit that we are going to see.

2. Reduces tension

If you have hypertension, gardening can be a good way to control it.

Keep in mind that with the effort you take to care for your plants, you not only burn calories, but also activate your heart and lungs.

To achieve this effect, the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends doing 30 to 45 minutes of daily yard work.

3. It is good for your bones

All the hours we spend locked up in the office have consequences.

We receive very few daily hours of sun, and that causes us to have low levels of vitamin D (the one in charge of fixing calcium in the bones and keeping them strong).

And the sun you receive through the windows does not count.

For it to really work, the light has to reach us directly.

In this, gardening fans have the advantage, because they spend more hours exposed to the sun than the rest (although remember that putting sun protection is still important).



4. Prevents osteoporosis

In the case of women, the benefits of gardening for their bone health are even greater.

According to a University of Arkansas study, osteoporosis rates were lower among women who cared for their garden.

More even than in those who did another type of exercise, such as running or swimming.

The reason seems to be that strength exercises like those done in the garden (when pulling herbs or digging, for example) have a direct relationship with the density of our bones.

5. Prevents depression

What if we told you that the happiness you feel when you take care of your garden is caused by bacteria?

You are right. It's called Mycobacterium vaccae, and it's a natural antidepressant.

This bacterium lives in the soil and, by working on the garden, we inhale it. Its presence in our body makes us have more serotonin (the hormone of happiness).

In addition, it also helps strengthen our immune system and prevent diseases such as asthma or allergies.

6. Reduces the risk of Alzheimer

Gardening is also a good way to reduce mental illness.

A large study conducted in Australia showed that, among all participants, those who cared for a garden were less likely to suffer from dementia and other conditions.

And that also includes Alzheimer's.

In fact, horticultural therapies are being used as a way to slow the progression of this disease.

7. Reduces stress and anxiety

Gardening lovers have lower levels of cortisol, which is the hormone produced by stress.

According to a study from the Netherlands, caring for the garden may be more beneficial than other activities that we usually associate with relaxation, such as reading.

One of the reasons is that bacteria that we talked about before, but it is not the only one.

In addition, the tasks we perform during the maintenance of our plants help us disconnect and forget about our problems for a while.

8. You sleep better

This is directly related to the previous profit.

In many cases, sleep problems come because we have a lot of accumulated stress, and that prevents us from sleeping.

By reducing cortisol and increasing serotonin, taking care of our plants helps us better fall asleep.

9. Improve your self-esteem

You surely did know this one.

Taking care of a living being like your plants, seeing how they grow, develop and come to bloom thanks to you, is all a merit.

And getting it has a very positive effect on the self-esteem of gardening fans.

10. You eat better

Are you one of those who uses a part of your garden for growing vegetables?

Well if you don't, it is highly recommended.

Growing your own fruits and vegetables helps you to have a more varied diet and with natural products.

11. It is educational for kids

Did you know that more and more schools already have a subject of horticulture and gardening?

And it is that children not only enjoy, like adults, all these physical and emotional benefits of caring for a garden.

In addition, when they are aware of where those vegetables that we put on the plate come from, and even participate in their cultivation, they are more willing to eat it.

And besides, staining dirt they sure love it.

Did you know all these benefits of gardening?

There is no doubt that caring for a garden is the best therapy against sedentary lifestyle and stress.

Now it's your turn to roll up your sleeves, grab your tools and give your plants back a little of all the good they bring you.

And you? Did you know all these benefits? Would you highlight any other? Tell us in the comments.

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