It’s no secret that being in nature is a great mood enhancer, but dig deeper, and you’ll also discover that activities like gardening does wonders for your mental and physical wellbeing too. In fact, our bodies could be compared to plants in some ways. 

Just like plants need sunshine to grow and photosynthesise, our bodies need time in the sun to flourish. Whether you have a large backyard or a small front yard, gardening is a great hobby with endless benefits you and your family can enjoy. Here are a few we’ve rounded up.

Gardening can boost your body’s ability to fight disease
According to Healthline, spending half an hour in the sun could help your body produce between 8 000 and 50 000 international units (IU) of vitamin D. While only 400-800 IU/day is recommended studies show that a higher intake may maintain optimal blood levels.

Vitamin D has a host of benefits, but a few of them include keeping bones strong and maintaining a healthy muscle, nerve, and immune system. Without this essential vitamin, you could be putting your body at risk for diseases like multiple sclerosis, arthritis, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

Gardening has a calming effect
There’s a reason why we love taking walks in parks and along the shoreline – being in nature is calming, especially after a long, tiring day. Clare Cooper Marcus, MA, MCP, professor emerita from the University of California at Berkeley, and a founder of environmental psychology says, “When you are looking intensely at something, or you bend down to smell something, you bypass the (analytical) function of the mind.” To put this simply, you’re living in the present moment and focusing on what you are currently experiencing. By immersing yourself in nature, in that experience, you’re refocusing your energy. You’re no longer concerned or ruminating about the things that stressed you out that day, which ultimately decreases your stress levels.

Gardening helps you eat well
When you grow your fruit and vegetables, you’re in control of the way they’re grown. That means there’ll be no harmful pesticides on your produce, making it a lot healthier for you to eat. And by eating the fresh produce you’ve grown, you’re also promoting a better diet filled with natural foods that include nutrients your body needs to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.

Related article: How to plant a vegetable garden

Gardening strengthens hand muscles
When you’re tending to your garden, you’re digging, planting, pulling, pouring – all of these movements help strengthen the muscles in your hands and fingers. Think of gardening as an exercise for your hands

Gardening is good for the heart
When you’re nurturing your garden, you’re not only exercising your hands and fingers, you’re also giving your body a good workout. All that pulling, digging, reaching for tools, lifting herb boxes, bending down, and standing up acts as a form of aerobic exercise. You may get so lost in gardening, you might not realise that you’ve been breaking a sweat all along.

Related article: Make a square foot garden

Gardening helps you sleep better
Outdoor gardening may be fun and relaxing, but once you get stuck into it, you’ll soon realise that it’s hard work. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gardening is a moderate form of exercise that can tire you out enough to sleep well at night. Garden every day, and you’ll soon find that you’ll not only fall asleep faster, but your quality of sleep will improve too.

Related article: Build your own gutter garden

Quick tips to help you stay safe while gardening
All of these wonderful gardening benefits will only work if you regularly spend time in your garden and avoid injury. So here are a few quick safety tips to make sure you get the most out of gardening.
  • Try to use tools when digging or raking. Sharp objects may be buried in the soil and could pierce your hands.
  • Wear gloves. Soil may contain bacteria and fungus that could get into a small cut you may have in your hand and cause infection.
  • Be mindful of your body and wrist posture. You may not realise, but the angle of your wrist is important too. Make sure it’s always in a relaxed, neutral position.


Powered by Blogger.