When thinking about gardening, most people associate it with old age and a time in life when there really isn’t much else to do but take care of a few plants. However, what is often kept a secret about gardening is that it can be done at any age, in almost any space and can improve the wellbeing of just about anyone who practices it.
Let’s see what your benefits could be if you decide to take up gardening:
Exercising Without Even Realizing It
That’s right. Gardening is an amazing way to put those muscles to work without even having to think about it. In order to create a beautiful garden, you’ll need to use a lawnmower, rake the leaves and refresh beds among many other activities. The beauty is that these all require some effort from your part (along with some garden supplies), but you’ll be too busy focusing on the outcome to feel your muscles burning. The light cardio will help you elevate your mood, improve blood flow and will give you a better night’s sleep.
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Eating Healthier Will Actually Become Possible
Lately, there’s been so much hype around eating bio and organic food, that it makes you wonder if you’re maybe missing out on something. By creating your own garden, you’ll get to be in charge of the food you’re eating. You can grow the fruits and vegetables you want to eat and you can plan for the seasons, and enjoy the fruits of your labor even during the colder months. Apart from the rich taste and the abundance of nutrients your veggies will have, you’ll also feel an immense sense of reward when eating something you know you grew yourself and worked hard for.
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Getting in Contact With Good Bacteria
As we all know, there are good and bad bacteria, and there are numerous kinds that are beneficial to a healthy garden and can naturally be found in the dirt while gardening. These good bacteria can also be beneficial for humans, and help combat the incredibly damaging effects of anxiety and depression. There is a theory around it called ‘hygiene hypothesis’ – it states that your immune system will also benefit from direct exposure to this dirt-loving friendly bacteria. So don’t hesitate to ditch those gardening gloves and sink your hands right into the soil.
Basking in the Sunlight
There’s no underestimating the positive effect a bright, sunny day can have on our physical and mental health. Getting out each day and taking care of your garden even for only half an hour, will allow you to absorb the vitamin D your body needs to better assimilate calcium. Additionally, this incredible vitamin also has the power to keep your mood afloat and stave off negative emotions.
Improving Dexterity and Overall Brain Health
By focusing on small tasks around the garden, setting goals and working to achieve them, your brain maintains a healthy pace of stimulation. This, in turn, will help lower the chances for dementia and Alzheimer’s by practicing gardening activities that will improve your dexterity, increase strength, sensory function and better your problem-solving skills.
Saying Goodbye to Stress and Hello to Higher Self-Esteem
By getting creative and spending 30-45 minutes every day in your beautiful green corner, you can lower your cortisol levels and simply feel happier. You don’t need to have a certain skill level or to be able to fashion animal-shaped hedges in order to benefit from gardening. You just need to envision what you’d like your garden to look like and to slowly start working towards turning that image into reality. By allowing yourself to successfully visualize your creative ideas, you’ll feel happier with yourself and more confident in your abilities to take on new challenges.
Cleaning the Air One Day at a Time
When you think about it, you can’t possibly imagine that your small parcel of greenery can positively impact the environment. While it may not necessarily save the planet from global warming, the greens you’ve planted will definitely clean the air you breathe around your home. Not only this, but you’ll also add to the overall air quality of your neighborhood and community. In other words, tending to your own garden can offset your family’s carbon emissions. If this becomes a goal in itself, you can actually opt for varieties that produce a lot of oxygen. You can choose neem trees or areca palms or, on a smaller scale, aloe vera and basil. Living purposefully has never been this pleasant and fun.
If you haven’t considered giving gardening a try just yet, maybe this list will help you decide to purchase your first set of gardening tools and a whole bunch of seeds. The benefits stated above are only a few that gardening can bring into your life – the rest is for you to discover through the hands-on experience that will allow you to fulfill your mind, body and soul as you get stuck into your new backyard. Happy digging!