The physical and mental health benefits of gardening

The physical and mental health benefits of gardening

The approaching spring season brings the promise of green grass, leafy trees and gardens full of beautiful blooms. If you don’t already have a backyard garden, you might consider planting one of your own this spring. Not only is gardening a great way to beautify your environment and grow your own healthy fruits and vegetables, but it’s also the perfect activity to clear your mind and boost your mood.

Here are several wellbeing benefits of digging in, getting your hands dirty and making things grow:

Gardening can be a huge stress reliever. Sowing seeds, planting seedlings and pulling weeds can be very meditative activities. Research has even proven that gardening can reduce the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that occurs naturally the body. Gardening forces us to focus us on the task at hand, and it can calm the nerves as well as clear the mind of negative thoughts. Planning, nurturing and watching a garden grow can also generate a sense of accomplishment, self-esteem and pride.

If you choose to grow fruits and vegetables, gardening can quite literally be nutritional. With regular attention and care, it is relatively easy to grow and harvest a variety fruits and vegetables rich in essential nutrients and vitamins right in your own backyard. In addition to garden favorites like tomatoes and peppers, backyard gardens can also yield all manner of lettuces, beans and berries, as well as carrots and other root vegetables.

Whether you tend your own backyard garden or work in a community plot, gardening can help keep you physically active. It’s also a social activity that can be spent cultivating both healthy plants and relationships with family and friends.

Finally, gardening can provide the opportunity to learn new skills, use new tools and, if you're working in a community garden, cultivate a green space for everyone to enjoy.

Posted: 3/07/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: Emotional, Garden, Gardening, Health, Mental, Physical

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