6 Health Benefits of Gardening
Updated: Jul 11, 2021
#BlackGirlsGardening is not just a hashtag, it’s a movement!
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, last year, a little something called covid entered the world and shattered all our realities. The outdoors were cancelled, and we were forced to look inwards and create our own escapes at home.
Even before the pandemic, plants have found their way back into our popular culture, and with the indoor plant movement, growing food in urban gardens became more popular.
No green thumb or even land required, you can start your own garden on a windowsill or join a community garden for the added perks of contributing to a communal project. Gardening has become a more mainstream activity and we are excited to see more people exploring the earth with their hands.
Beyond the hype and popularity, gardening is our way of plugging back into the natural cycle of life. It has taught us patience, the importance of giving back as much as you take, and listening with more than our eyes. It’s also very beneficial for health, so let’s explain below:
1. Stress Relief
Gardening can reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
It has been a difficult few months, and we are all feeling the effects around the world. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, or isolated and alone, then the mindful physical activity of gardening might just be what you need. Gardening can reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
2. Improved Mood
It has been proven that gardening has a positive impact on stress and elevates the mood.
One study asked subjects to perform a stressful task followed by either reading or gardening for 30 minutes.
The gardening group experienced a clear decline in cortisol levels and more positive moods, while the readers actually experienced a decline in mood.
Gardens for the win!
3. Vitamin D
More time spent gardening means more vitamin D, which elevates your mood and improves your skin! If you are going to spend long periods of time in direct sunlight, use sunscreen or a hat to protect your skin and still enjoy the outdoors.
4. Fresh, FRESH Produce
There’s nothing like the freshness of homegrown food. That’s the freshest, most organic food you can vouch for, straight from your garden to your table.
One tomato fruit has enough seeds to grow a whole garden of tomatoes that will keep on bearing fruit! Think about the possibilities of growing your own food, and very cheaply too.
5. Physical Exercise
Gardening is a relaxing form of exercise. Just the manual action of tending a garden can burn as much as 200 calories every hour. It’s especially beneficial for older people who cannot engage in strenuous forms of exercise.
6. Safer Food
You can be sure of what you put in the soil and what you’ll get out of it when you grow your own vegetables and herbs. Lots of gardeners choose organic compost for the soil, avoiding the exposure to pesticides and preservatives typically found in store-bought food. The FDA says that “most” foods preservatives are safe, but why gamble when you can eat food grown with your own hands?