People who spend their spare time in the garden have always claimed gardening keeps them healthy, but if you don’t have green fingers, you might not be too convinced. However, research has consistently proven that gardening is a healthy activity on many levels, so if you need a push to spend a bit of time outdoors this year, here’s why you should take up gardening.
The Benefits of a Beautiful Garden
Nothing beats having a beautiful outdoor space where you can spend your leisure time, play with the kids, and enjoy nature at its best. Unfortunately, unless you are happy to employ a landscape gardener or call California advanced grass solutions, it is going to take some time and effort to create a wonderful garden.
Despite this, the satisfaction you will feel as a result of working hard in your garden will more than outweigh the pain of digging, planting and landscaping. Gardens are a living, breathing space. The more time you put in, the more you get out.
Burn Calories Outdoors
Gardening is a great form of exercise. It is hard work digging up clods of earth, yanking out weeds and hoeing the flowerbeds. If you are unused to gardening, you will find the first few times pretty tough, but stick with it because a good spell in the garden burns lots of calories.
An hour of light gardening – cutting grass, weeding, sweeping the yard and general tidying up – will burn an impressive number of calories. This is much better than a session at the gym, and a lot more fun. If you can, try and get out in the garden three or four times a week. This will keep you in good shape and reduce your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Stress is seriously bad for our health. People who get outdoors and do some gardening tend to have lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Since high levels of cortisol lead to insomnia and, eventually, adrenal fatigue, gardening is a pleasant way to keep stress at bay and promote good health.
Next time you have had a bad day at the office, don’t crack open a bottle of wine; instead, pull on your gardening gloves and go outside to tidy up the borders. Your garden will appreciate the effort and your liver will thank you.
Build Muscle Mass
Some aspects of gardening can be physically demanding. No one who has spent a few hours digging over hard ground will disagree on that score. However, that’s a good thing! Sure, you could go to the gym and lift weights for an hour, but gardening is a more enjoyable way of building muscle tone and giving all major muscle groups a fine workout.
Most of us do not spend nearly enough time outdoors. Instead, we spend our days staring at a monitor, cloistered away in an artificially lit office devoid of sunlight. By the time we leave, the sun has faded and in winter, disappeared completely.
Vitamin D is the only vitamin we can’t get from out diet. The body needs sunlight to make vitamin D, yet many people do not spend enough time outside to build up their reserves of Vitamin D. In the northern hemisphere, the sun is too weak over winter anyway, so the problem is exacerbated.
If you enjoy gardening, you will boost your vitamin D levels without the need for supplements.
Grow Your Own Vegetables
Another advantage to gardening is that you have the opportunity to grow your own vegetables. You don’t need much space to grow veggies. A small corner will do, or even a couple of planters.
Once you have a crop of homegrown organic vegetables, you can enjoy nutritious meals as well as regular exercise. This really is the recipe for a long and healthy life.
You Don’t Need a Garden to Garden!
If you don’t have any outdoor space, it is not unreasonable to think that you can’t possibly do any gardening. After all, where on earth can you plant anything?
Many modern homes are short on outdoor space. If you live in an apartment, the situation is even worse. The great thing about gardening is that you can do it anywhere. Small planters and pots are perfect for flowers, herbs and small vegetables. Grow herbs on your kitchen windowsill or fix a planter outside your front door. The sight of fresh flowers and fragrant herbs will boost your mood and make the world feel like a better place.