Gardening for your health
Posted April 15, 2015
Now that we’re coming out of the snowiest winter on record, can you begin to imagine green grass, blossoming trees and gardens bursting forth? It won’t be long now.
Have you ever thought about starting a garden?
Now is the perfect time to plan one. Not only will you get visual and savory enjoyment from your labor, but gardening is actually very good for your health!
How gardening helps your mind and body
1. Exercise: Digging, weeding, bending and stretching are great forms of low-impact exercise. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers gardening a moderate-intensity level of exercise. And you’re more likely to stick with it because you’re getting other benefits as well.
2. Stress relief: Gardening forces you to be in the moment. You are intensely focused on preparing the soil, planting, weeding, and all that goes into making a garden. This intense focus can reduce stress.
3. Better mental health: In a study performed in Norway, half of those who were diagnosed with depression showed significant signs of improvement after growing flowers and vegetables six hours a week for three months. And their mood continued to be better for three months after the program ended!
4. Nutrition: If you choose to grow your own vegetables, they will be the freshest you can eat. And you’ll eat more of them because they’re plentiful, free and delicious!
Get your kids involved, too. Studies of after-school gardening programs show that children who help grow vegetables are more likely to eat them.
Don’t know how to get started?
• Talk to an experienced gardener
• Join a garden club
• Look online for ways to start a small garden
Start small and then, if you want, expand your garden at your own pace. You’ll reap many rewards!