Now that spring is here, it’s the ideal time to go outside and spruce up your yard. Whether you plant flowers or vegetables or just tend to the grass, there are many benefits to being active outside. Experienced gardeners and novices alike find that gardening is so good for you. Here are 7 reasons why.
1. Gardening Burns Calories
Many of us spent a lot of time sitting this year, but now that spring has arrived, gardening offers us an opportunity to get moving and shed any unwanted weight. Gardening is considered a moderate-intensity activity and people burn an average of 330 calories per hour doing regular gardening activities. Opt for manually-powered tools to boost calorie burn.
2. Gardening Can Lower Blood Pressure
Gardening can also help lower your blood pressure. All exercise strengthens the heart, which makes it pump blood more efficiently. Just 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week can help lower your blood pressure. Gardening is an exercise that provides multiple associated benefits, so it is a win-win activity.
3. Gardening Can Help Anxiety and Mood
Gardening can help reduce anxiety and improve your mood. Though it might seem that would be because it is a relaxing activity, which is true, it is also because you encounter mycobacteria such as mycobacterium vaccae when you work in the soil. Studies show that m. vaccae provides a variety of health benefits including increasing people’s serotonin levels. Since serotonin stabilizes people’s moods, it’s not surprising that you’ll feel better after a little digging in the dirt.
4. Gardening Can Boost Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for bone and muscle health. While you can absorb it from some foods, you can also synthesize it in your body when you expose your skin to sunlight. Spending a bit of time outside each day tending to vegetables and flowers or tidying up your lawn will help ensure your body has all the vitamin D it needs.
5. Gardening Can Provide Community
Gardening can also provide a sense of community and friendship, which we all know is especially important after this long year. Whether you volunteer or garden at a neighborhood plot, visit your local garden center, or follow online forums, once you begin gardening, you’ll find a host of fellow gardeners ready to talk plants, fertilizer, and gardening tricks.
6. Gardening Helps Focus
Gardening helps us be more present in our lives. Study after study on mindfulness meditation have shown the benefits of focusing on the present moment and not dwelling in the past or future. When you do it with intent, gardening can serve the same purpose. Though it might take some practice, being fully present to the sounds, sights, and smells of your garden can provide the same benefits as meditation.
7. Gardening Helps Foster Healthy Eating
Turning your yard, or even your balcony, into an urban farm will help you incorporate more fresh produce into your diet. Many people find that once they have success with a few crops, they want to add more to their gardening repertoire. In turn, once you come to enjoy the variety a garden provides in the summer and fall, you’ll want to incorporate those flavors and textures into your diet year-round. Consider planting fruit trees and bushes on your property. They are relatively low maintenance and provide fruit for yourself, your family, and all of your friends.
Whether you garden to improve the look of your yard, to exercise, or to be an urban farmer, you will reap the benefits of your back-to-the-earth activities. Eating fresh, natural foods is the best way to improve your diet and to obtain most of the vitamins and minerals you need and growing them can be easier than you imagine. Aronia berry bushes, for example, grow in most climates in the United States and require very little maintenance. These super fruits can be frozen or turned into jam for you to enjoy all year round. If you don’t have space for them, try Superberries Frozen Aronia berries to see how these fruits can easily improve your recipes and your health.