Not many know that their backyards (and in some cases the front lawns or the balconies) can not only be great way to connect with nature, but also provide a fantastic workout and promote a positive attitude and outlook. You literally reap the fruit of your labour. So, here are some great reasons to pick up at shovel.
Reconnect with Nature
Gardening is a great way to give yourself a break from the radiation packed phones and laptops, and the distorted reality of virtual world. Studies show that spending time in a green space can lessen feelings of self-absorption and helps you to feel calmer.
Plants Don’t Judge
Spending time in a garden can help build confidence and self-esteem as you make and take care of another living being. It gives a sense of purpose and appreciation, and is found to be healing for people suffering from depression. Researchers at Kansas State studying the health effects of gardening were surprised to note that as the gardeners’ skills increased their self-esteem skyrocketed along with their health.
Health Comes First
A study reveals that three hours of gardening will burn for you the calories equivalent to one hour of gymming. According to researchers, gardeners have a significantly lower body mass index, as well as lower odds of being overweight or obese, than non-gardeners.
You may be surprised by how relaxed you feel after you spend some time among the plants. According to a study by researchers at Wageningen University, gardening may have a calming effect by reducing the amount of stress hormones (cortisol) in the body.
Spending hours in the garden is known to release endorphins or the “happy hormone”. According to a UK research study, dirt contains a natural antidepressant called Mycobacterium vaccae. This particular antidepressant causes cytokine levels to increase, which in turn boosts the production of serotonin.
Boosts Your Immunity
Thanks to beneficial bacteria found in soil, gardening can improve your immune system, helping you get sick less and fight off infections easier, according to research published in Science. Working in the garden can also help prevent certain allergies and decrease the severity of a reaction, according to a separate study done by the University of Copenhagen.
Gardening Encourages a Healthier Diet
People who learn how to garden are not only far more likely to eat their five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but they also enjoy eating them more, according to a study done by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Improved Motor Skills and Strength
A powerful grip, hand strength, flexibility, and coordination are essential for everyday tasks, gardening is the perfect way to hone those fine motor skills and muscles, according to a study published in HortScience. A few minutes of daily weeding may even help offset some of the strain caused by repetitive use like typing or phone swiping.
Sharpens your Brain
Gardening also provides a healthy workout for your brain, says research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Scientists found that regularly working in the garden is a powerful tool for protecting cognitive health, increasing the study participants’ brain volume and cutting the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 50 per cent. Other studies have found that regular gardening may help reduce the risks of dementia by 36 per cent.
So gear up for a great work out and therapeutic session in your own home. Happy Gardening !