What Gardening Can Do For Your Health

by Mackenzie Kupfer

When most people think of gardening, they picture their grandmothers or some other sweet elderly lady puttering about in her yard tending to roses. This may be an accurate picture of gardening but it is not the only picture.

Gardening can in fact be enjoyed by anyone regardless of age and those who participate in gardening are bound to receive at least one if not more of the benefits of it.

Even if your green thumb is actually more of a brownish hue, you should still attempt to dabble in gardening. There are some obvious benefits of gardening but there are also some that don’t jump to the forefront of everyone’s mind.

gardening by family: photo credit: © JackF - Fotolia.com

Replace Fast Food with Fresh Food

First of all, if you decide to garden fruits and vegetables, you will have almost unlimited access to fresh produce for a fraction of the cost of store bought produce. There is no comparison when it comes to the nutritional benefits of growing your own food an eating it straight from the vine especially when you take price into account.

One of the largest excuses as to why individuals don’t eat healthy foods is because they claim that they cannot afford it. When you compare the price of one sweet pepper to that of an entire fast food meal, fast food may seem like the better deal.

One sweet pepper can cost up to a dollar at the super market but for that same dollar you can buy a whole packet of seeds that will produces dozens of sweet peppers throughout the growing season.

And that’s just talking about sweet peppers. There are so many options when it comes to what edible goodies you can grow in your garden so pick your favorites and start growing!

Burn Some Calories

If fresh fruits and veggies aren’t enough to motivate you, think about how much physical energy it takes to cultivate a garden. Raking, tilling, digging; all of these activities are hard work!

You can even intensify your gardening “workout” just by being more aware of the motions you are already performing and doing so more fully, perhaps even switching sides and doing reps.

For example, rake 10 times of your right side by extending your arms all the way out and then switching to your left side.

Not convinced? Think about how much lifting is required in gardening. When you work out in your garden, you more than likely do more squats lifting bags of soil and mulch than you would ever do at the gym.

Timing also works in your favor because about the time you need to begin working in your garden is when most people start getting ready for swimsuit season. Hello bikini body!

Relaxation Station

Stress seems to be the American curse. We become so wrapped up in our desk jobs and other commitments that we so often forget to take some much needed time for ourselves just to sit and enjoy the world around us.

Our hectic lives make it essential to find an outlet and a comfortable place to relax. The repetitive movement that gardening requires alleviates your mind from over-thinking and can actually be extremely therapeutic.

Not only that, but a garden that you have created is a wonderful oasis in which to sit, unwind, and relax.

Soak up the Sunlight

Still not convinced about gardening? Think about how often you actually get outside of a four wall enclosure. While exercising in a gym is great for your overall health, you are still missing out of some vital components of your health.

Gardening forces you to get outside and soak up some much needed sunlight! Sunlight, as we know, is crucial for your physical health but can also improve your overall mental health. Exposure to sunlight is known to help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety that so many people experience.

Wear some natural sunscreen to minimize the risk of getting cancer and start experiencing the benefits of some natural sunlight!

If the thought of gardening is overwhelming but you are intrigued by the benefits, you can still garden but just start out on a smaller scale. If you allow yourself some time to grow into your green britches you are more likely to enjoy gardening and stick with it instead of getting frustrated and throwing your hand shovel in a fit of rage.

(Mackenzie Kupfer has been a lover of all things green since the age of six when she began gardening with her Nana. She is currently an online publisher for the tomato cage site avantgardendecor.com. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys attending garden shows, hiking, and collecting ceramic tea sets.)

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