By Rachel Mueller, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
We recently highlighted some trends from the Garden Media Group’s latest Garden Trends Report, including how the indoors is steadily becoming the new outdoors and how Americans spend 93% of their time inside. Millennials are raising plants indoors, which is wonderful and needed, but the health benefits of gardening outdoors are too plentiful to ignore.
Gardening is a healthy choice, whether it happens on a small patio, in a community garden or in a massive backyard veggie garden, and here’s why:
It Boosts Your Immune System
While soaking in Vitamin D from the sun’s rays can give you the fervor to fight off an impending sickness, digging in the dirt can also help your immune system maintain its integrity. A bacteria – “Mycobacterium vaccae” – that’s commonly found in dirt and absorbed through breathing or by eating veggies has been linked to relieving issues connected to allergies, asthma and even depression.
It’s a Stress Buster & Mood Booster
A study out of the Netherlands observed two groups after they finished a stressful activity. One read indoors while the other gardened outside for 30 minutes. Can you guess which group reduced their stress and shared that they felt better?
Yep! The gardening group. They also had lower amounts of cortisol, better known as the stress hormone, in their systems.
Plus, nature is a natural mood enhancer.
It Keeps You in Shape
Besides just being outside and burning calories – gardening is considered moderate to high-intensity exercise – gardening offers a multitude of benefits just by helping to keep you in shape. By simply walking through the garden to check on your plants, you improve your flexibility, increase hand and body strength and reduce pain. Gardening can also reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis since you’re using your hands regularly to dig, weed and plant.
It Helps Your Heart
It’s clear that staying active is key to our health. While gardening gives us a great way to get up and move around, it also helps protect your heart! Being outside among your plants and flowers for just 30 minutes a few times a week can reduce high blood pressure.
A study from Stockholm also showed that gardening reduced the risk of a stroke and heart attack by up to 30% in people over 60 years old.
It Gives You More Veggies to Eat
This one is a no brainer. All that work outside and tending to your plants can give you plenty of fresh, healthy veggies and fruit to eat!
Are you interested in starting your own garden this year? Maybe you’re hoping to just spend a few more hours outside each week? We’ve got you covered! Read about how you can get started with seeds indoors this spring and what garden tools you should have on you at all times.
Disclaimer: As always, please discuss any medical decisions with your physician or another medical professional.