The sun kisses your cheek. A droplet of sweat drips down your brow. Your hands are dark with soil. You observe with satisfaction the fruit of your labor. Whether you have a large garden in your yard or just a few potted plants on your balcony, gardening is sure to give you a good dose of well-being. Indeed, studies are unanimous: gardening has many uncontested benefits for both your physical and mental health.
1. Get into shape
Make no mistake – gardening is indeed considered as physical exercise. When nurturing your vegetable seedlings, you’re squatting, lifting bags of soil, hoeing, shoveling and pulling up weeds! In short, you’re activating several muscle groups as well as your cardiovascular system. Exercising is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer. So, to get into shape, put on your gardening gloves!
2. Eat better
When you have a garden, you surely can’t wait to eat the fruit and vegetables you’ve been growing. And what does your garden grow? Lots of varied and colorful foods that provide plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This is another great way to reduce the risk of chronic disease and to feel great while you’re doing it. Not to mention the wonderful taste of the treasures you grow yourself!
3. Reduce stress
When you’re crouching up to your elbows in soil wondering where to plant the next tomato vine, you’re not thinking about the important meeting you have tomorrow afternoon. You’re finally disconnected from daily stress. A study carried out in the Netherlands has also shown that gardening may be more effective than reading to significantly lower the levels of cortisol in our blood, a hormone related to stress.
4. Feel better
Gardening may not only help to prevent mental health problems, but may also be used as a treatment for mental disorders. Exercising reduces the risk of suffering from anxiety and depression. Being outside lets you enjoy a nice session of light therapy! An important medical journal observed that physical activities done outdoors seem to have a greater positive impact on mental health than indoor physical activities. Now is the time to go outside!
5. Get pleasure from satisfaction
Gardening means marveling at your first ripe tomato. It means being able to come up with divinely flavorful meals for your guests. And what else is there to say about the pleasure you’ll get from giving away some of your cucumber harvest to your neighbor? With this great accomplishment, the pride you’ll feel will do wonders for your wellbeing and give a little boost to your self-esteem. In short, gardening is a perfect time for you to spend outdoors, in nature, in the sunshine. And all this pleasure is definitely great for your health!
So, pick up a shovel – your body and mind will surely thank you.