Gardening is good for your health, right? It is what books say. But in what ways? Let’s check it out:
It has the power the lessen depressive feelings. Ever felt so sad and couldn’t find out why? Try gardening. There’s something really magical about it. Getting your hands into the soil and dirt and watching how a tiny seed grow into a beautiful plant is so uplifting. But there’s more to it. Did you know that dirt contains an antidepressant called ‘mycobacterium vaccae’ which boosts the production of serotonin? There is no wonder why gardening is often a part of therapies for mental illness. They call it horticultural therapy wherein patients are taken into a garden with a combination of fruits and vegetables as well as scented and flowering plants to nourish all the senses. Apart of its calming benefits, gardening promotes confidence, satisfaction, and increases self-esteem.
Gardening boosts your brainpower. In a 16-year study of more than 3,000 older adults, researchers found that daily gardening lowers dementia risk by 36%. Another study estimated the risk is reduced by 47%. The reason is probably because gardening engages many of your cognitive functions, from learning to problem-solving, and sensory awareness.
It relieves your stress. There’s no doubt about it – gardening relieves your stress. Everyone who tried it has experience it. Studies show that getting your hands into the dirt and nurturing your garden after a highly stressful day reduces levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.
It’s a fun and energising form of physical activity. Yes, gardening is counted as a form of physical activity too. It engages your whole body, as well as your mind and creativity. Gardening is a low-impact exercise that is suitable for older adults as well as those who have health conditions that hinder them from engaging in intense workouts.
You get a low-cost source of healthy produce. Growing your own vegetable garden is really fun. What’s more, it helps you save so much on healthy produce. You will be surprised that many of your favourite herbs, spices and vegetables can be easily grown in your own backyard!
Gardening’s a fun way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. You get ample amount of sunlight when you garden. And as we all know, sunlight’s the best source of vitamin D – a very important nutrient that your body needs. It plays a crucial role in preventing chronic illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D also nourishes your skin and helps strengthen your bones.
Can’t think of anything to do this weekend? Why not garden? Your mind and body will thank you.
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