It’s been over six months since I started my gardening journey and what a ride it has been. Because I live in a small apartment, my gardening endeavor started off really small with just two pots of herbs. Now, I have expanded that to eight! Along the way, I noticed how there has been so much that I have gained from gardening. Even with spending less than 30 minutes a day taking care of my gardening activities, I have noticed a difference to my overall well-being. For those who are reading this, I hope you are also interested in building or already maintaining or your own garden. To give you even more reasons to try out this particular hobby, I have created an infographic on six surprising health benefits that gardening can provide. Check it out.
Health Benefits of Gardening
A few of the points stated above I can personally relate to. Here is a summary of how gardening could help your overall well-being. Keep in mind that some of the info sourced comes from research studies so they may not be truly accurate, but if you think about it, gardening is one of those hobbies that can only help you and not harm you.
Providing Stress Relief
Based on a study conducted by the Wageningen University and Research Center, gardening could play a part in reducing stress levels. Results from the study suggest that gardening can help reduce the level of cortisol, the stress hormone. From my own experience, I can attest to this claim. As a regular hobby, there aren’t many activities out there that are as tranquil as gardening. In my case, my daily gardening involvement is to just water the plants. It’s interestingly soothing to see the plants grow (and quite quickly too). The same might not necessarily hold true for those who own a yard and are having to deal with problems like pests and weeds (I hate gnats) but that is still pretty minor compared to the issues that have to be dealt with in other activities.
Strengthening Your Immune System
Soil comes with plenty of germ and bacteria, which does not sound like something you want your hands on. However, exposure to these microorganisms, especially for young children, could help increase their immunity against diseases later on in life. For example, a report from the National Wildlife Federation suggests that children who are confined inside would run the risk of major health issues such as obesity and vitamin D deficiency. If you are a parent then make sure your your kids are participating in fun, outdoor activities.
Gardening Work Out
Gardening may not seem like hard work until you try it. In my situation, however, it isn’t all that much since i am only growing a few pots. The amount of exertion needed for gardening really depends on the size of the garden. For example, those who have to mow, aerate, or shovel will get a great workout. Pruning can also be a good workout for your upper body. That’s why I am not shocked by the statistic that 3 hours of gardening can equate to 1 hour in a gym (in terms of calories).
Enhancing our point on strengthening the immune system, dirt also contains a natural antidepressant called Mycobacterium vaccae. According to research, this particular antidepressant microbe causes cytokine levels to increase, which in turns boosts the production of serotonin. Click here to learn more about this particular resarch, which was conducted by Bristol University and University College London.
A Healthier Diet
This is something that relates to me straight away. After I started to care for my own vegetables and herbs, I became more conscious of my overall diet. Gone are the days when I would be eating fast food on a frequent basis. These days, I have a healthy salad for lunch and try to avoid anything too greasy after work. Hopefully, gardening would have the same impact for anyone else who have had an unhealthy lifestyle.
Stimulating the Brain
This probably applies more to the elderly but gardening is a great way to stimulate the brain. Gardening is an activities that include a bit of everything. It includes physical exercise, social interactions, cognitive learning, and more. As reported on CNN, two studies have found that gardening could have a positive influence in reducing the risks of dementia for people in their 60s and 70s. Start early and maintain a positive well-being through gardening!