10+ Benefits of Gardening
Many people like to do gardening as their hobby or for a fun time, but gardening is more than that. There are so many benefits of gardening! It not only makes your home look good, but it can do wonders for your well-being.
As exercise can make you lose weight and improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the interaction with plants can improve mood and mental health.
No matter if gardening is your hobby or you are a professional horticulturist, it can provide a lot health benefits.
1. Help boost the immune system:
Making a garden at your home means you will go outside in your backyard to take care of the plants, which indirectly provide sunlight.
Sunlight is as necessary for us as it is for plants. Our skin uses sunlight to make an essential nutrient needed by our body, vitamin D.
According to researchers (Mead, 2008), if a person spends half an hour in direct sunlight, his body will produce 8,000-50,000 IU of vitamin D.
The amount of vitamin D also depends upon the number of clothes a person is wearing and how much part of his body is exposed to the sun.
Vitamin D is not only essential for human bones, but it also performs hundreds of functions in the body. Studies (David G. Hoela, 2016) have shown the human body benefits from sunlight. It lowers the risk of:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Bladder cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Moreover, lower levels of vitamin D can also increase risk of dementia, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and psoriasis flares.
To avoid cancers, not only sunlight but the whole lifestyle matters. However, a little sunlight in your garden can provide such good benefits to the body.
2. Promotes sleep:
Gardening is not only a hobby, but it can also work as exercise. Activities like cutting grass, raking, and watering the whole garden, fall under moderate exercises. Other gardening activities like digging, shoveling, and chopping wood are vigorous exercise.
Whatever you are doing in the garden will use a major muscle group in your body. Hats, why a lot of people woke up sore after a hard working day of yard work.
Studies (Erica C Spears-Lanoix, December) have shown that these physical activities in the garden can help in both age-related weight gain and childhood obesity.
Moreover, it is also proven (news, 2015) that people who like gardening and spend their time taking care of plants are more likely to get 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
3. Improve memory in older adults:
Exercise can help in improving the cognitive function of the brain. Many studies show the effect of gardening activities in enhancing the growth of the brain’s memory-related nerves.
For example, one study (Sin-Ae Park, 2021) of different people suffering from dementia shows that residents with 20 minutes of gardening activity, in which they raked and planted in the garden, experienced an increase in some brain nerve growth factors related to memory in both males and females.
Another study (HiroharuKamioka, 2014) found that horticultural therapy like gardening can improve mental health and can also be effective for people suffering from dementia.
In fact, in Norway and the Netherlands, people suffering from dementia are often recommended to practice a green care program, where they spend most of their time working on farms and gardens.
4. Improve mood and reduce stress:
Studies (Jacqueline M. Swank, 2015) in the United States and other different countries have found that Gardening plays a vital role in increasing mood and self-esteem. When people spend time in the garden, they feel less depressed, and their anxiety level drops.
According to a study (Gonzalez, 2011) of the group of people suffering from depression, people who participate in gardening activities experienced an improvement in certain aspects of mental health, including depression. All of these improvements lasted for a few months, even after the intervention ended.
Working in the garden can also help you if you are going through a stressful situation as it can divert your mind.
In a study (Custers, 2010) of people suffering from stress, half the group was asked to spend their time reading books while the other half to spend their time gardening.
When the stress level of both of the groups was tested, it was found that people who participate in gardening have a lower level of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies.
5. Encourages creativity and mindfulness
Gardening is all about creativity, and the one significant benefit of this biological activity is that it can let your creativity thrive.
No matter if you are growing some plants in your backyard or putting together a vegetable garden layout to increase your space, you can get creative with everything in the garden.
Moreover, if you have kids, you can also ask them to help you in your garden. They can water the plants, sow new seeds or assist in making garden signs to tell you where you planted certain vegetables. These all things will encourage their creativity, and everyone will learn new skills.
Gardening makes you able to pay your full attention to what you are doing. When you plan everything with your own hands, you take care of that carefully, monitoring all the vegetables, so you can pick them at the right time. That’s why a lot of people spend hours in their garden to make sure their plants are healthy.
6. Helps in managing eco-anxiety:
According to the American Psychological Association, stress and guilt are increasing in people while watching the gradual climate changes. One of the most stressful aspects of this eco-anxiety is that you are not able to do anything about it.
Gardening can help in this eco-anxiety, as it can positively affect the climate. It is recommended by the national (NWF) wildlife foundation to take part in gardening and grow new plants to cut down the carbon and reduce your environmental anxiety. There can be a few things you can do for this purpose:
- Cut your water consumption by drip lines and rain barrels
- Reduce waste and decrease the production of methane
- Plant more trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
- Try to use manual tools instead of gas-powered ones
- Make your yard a safe, certified wildlife habitat and inspire your neighbors as well.
7. Gardening saves money:
There are a lot of people who think that gardening is expensive as you have to buy plants, equipment, fertilizers, and tools. The reality is, gardening can save you a lot of money whether you are growing vegetables or fruits.
You don’t have to buy expensive plants. You can seed your garden, which is not costly at all. Also, you can create your fertilizers from the waste in your kitchen.
Moreover, you can store rainwater to water your plants. As a result, a small garden can produce a massive amount of vegetables, which you can keep for a whole year.
This can save you a lot of money because you don’t have to buy vegetables, fruits, or herbs at the grocery store.
Moreover, if you are worried about buying something at the grocery store, growing your fruits and vegetables will make you sure about the quality of your products.
8. Family bonding and teaching responsibility:
Bonding with family is very important, as a family is the only thing which will help you in a time of difficulty.
Many families waste their time on screen and don’t interact with members. Gardening can be an option to dial this back.
Give every family member a different task to do. For example, if someone likes to water the plants, let him do his. Someone wants to shovel and be happy with it.
In that way, you will find all the family members in one place. And a quality time to improve your bond with family.
Moreover, through gardening, you can also teach responsibility to everyone in the family. For example, if the kids are responsible for watering the plants, and the plants begin to wilt, they will be aware of what will happen if they don’t water the plants.
9. Help with addiction recovery:
Horticultural therapy has been around for centuries, and working with plants has been a part of many addiction recovery programs as well.
According to one study (Pétra Berger, 2017), plants can build positive feelings in people and help them recover from alcohol addiction, and works as an effective rehabilitation tool.
In another study (Kathleen P Decker, 2014), people in an addiction rehabilitation program were allowed to participate in natural activities. They were free to choose either gardening or art.
It was found that the people who decided on gardening experienced remarkable recovery and reported more satisfaction compared to those who decided on art.
10. Strengthen bones and relieve chronic pain:
Vitamin D levels start decreasing in our bodies as we age, making our bones weak and brittle. This vitamin provides strength to the bones and makes them stronger.
Gardening can expose you to sunlight which means vitamin D. If you wear shirts and shorts while gardening in your backyard and get more and more exposure to the sunlight. You can get maximum vitamin D to prevent your bones from getting weak.
Researchers (Coleman L. Etheredge1, 2010) have shown that chronic pain starts in most people’s joints, which makes them less likely to move as it causes more pain with time.
Gardening can help in reducing this stiffness and chronic pain. You can also have a Mediterranean herb garden in your home.
Watering, cutting, and maintaining these herbs will keep your joints moving, and may ease some symptoms of pain you feel.
11. Exposure to good bacteria:
Another benefit of gardening is that it can interact with good bacteria present within the soil. Different studies (C.A. Lowry, 2007) have shown the positive effect of bacteria training present in home gardens, increasing the amount of serotonin released from the brain. Serotonin is a feel-good chemical that can reduce the symptoms of depression.
This can also help boost the immune system. There is a well-known theory known as the hygiene hypothesis, according to which the human brain and immune system are connected.
If the brain nerves are relaxed and you are not feeling stressed, it means your immune system is strong. But if a person is in a state of depression, their immune system will automatically be weak. So, in short, gardening can help with both simultaneously.
12. Fosters connection:
Family gardens, school gardens, and community gardens are everywhere. And these small gardens not only help in production, but they have much to do with human interaction.
According to a study (Vanessa Lam, 2019), the students who participate in school gardens took photos of their work and shared their experiences with others.
These students reported that they learned new skills and also formed relationships, which gave them a new sense of well-being.
When you are working in the garden, you will interact with people of different ages, backgrounds, and abilities. This will make you learn a lot from their experience., and you may learn new skills as well. In short, gardening is a way to expand both what you know and what you don’t.
Conclusion on 10+ benefits of gardening:
Gardening is not only a hobby, but it is an activity that makes you get outside, interact with other people, and learn new skills with healthy food and a beautiful environment.
Moreover, gardening can also provide the benefits of exercise. For example, if you are digging, harvesting or hauling, your muscles are working out, and your heart health, physical strength, and immune system all will benefit.
Gardening also provides the feeling of empowerment and connection between people. It can also help you save money as you can grow vegetables and fruits at home.
Keep in mind that there are a few precautions recommended by CDC that you should take while gardening:
- Be careful while using any kind of chemicals or fertilizers in the garden, as these can be dangerous if misused.
- Wear gloves, closed shoes, and other safety gear while using sharp tools
- Use bug spray and sunscreen before going into the garden
- Keep your sharp tools and chemicals away from children as these things can be a threat to kids.
- Get your tetanus injection every 10 years, as tetanus is also present in the soil.
Other related gardening articles:
- 12 Essential Gardening Tools for Beginners
- Best Fruits to Grow in Pots
- Indoor Vegetable Gardens
- Herb Gardening For Beginners
- Coffee Grain Compost
- 10 Organic Gardening Hacks
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