Gardening comes with all kinds of health benefits. When you engage in gardening, you develop a symbiosis relationship with the earth. Gardening can be a fun, enjoyable experience for gardeners. A community can garden as a team to exercise and give back to the local community. It ensures that both individuals and groups have access to organic, healthy and fresh vegetables as gardening benefits.
Apart from providing fresh produce for individuals and families, it also ensures that gardeners enjoy plenty of gardening health and mental benefits. Practiced by people of all ages, gardening benefits both the young and the aged in various ways. With increased advancement in technology, more people spend less time outdoors and more indoors.
As a result, the population worldwide is increasingly suffering from health conditions that develop as a result of being inactive. With gardening, you’ve got lots of benefits to enjoy growing your own fruits and vegetables. Good health, according to the World Health Organization, is more than just having positive health symptoms, but mental, physical and social well-being.
Good quality of life, positive emotions, happiness and a sense of community and togetherness, all play a role in having good health. Whether you engage in community or backyard gardening, there are lots of gardening benefits in store for you. Ranging from prevention of chronic diseases and increased nutrients in your diet to reduced stress and better sleep, gardening benefits are vast.
Here are the top 6 gardening health and mental benefits you can enjoy from growing your own fruits and veggies in your home garden:
Table of Contents
13 Gardening Health and Mental Benefits for Gardeners
Given below are the 13 gardening health and mental benefits for gardeners.
1. Reducing the Risk of Life-Threatening Diseases
According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, gardening can reduce the risk of developing stroke and heart attack in seniors. As a result, gardening can help the aged live prolonged lives. Engaging in community gardening can also help with weight control benefits.
Gardening can lower the risk of cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50% according to a study conducted in 2016. Based on the study findings published on IOS Press, gardening is a form of physical activity that can reduce the risk of developing cognitive conditions.
Growing fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers can improve the volume of your brain, lowering your risk of developing such conditions. Gardening is mentally engaging and allows gardeners to eat healthy. It’s also a great way to pass time while doing something you’re passionate about and love.
Gardening can also lower levels of osteoporosis, diabetes and colon cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, gardening is a ‘moderate intensity physical activity’ that can help lower levels of life-threatening diseases in both the aged and the young.
Make sure you engage in at least 150 minutes of gardening as a physical activity that’s moderate in intensity each week to enjoy its health and mental benefits.
2. An Effective Stress Buster and Mood-Booster
Heavy use of electronic gadgets is a form of digital detox because it tunes you out of your immediate environment. Busy schedules have similar effects. However, gardening teaches you how to live in the moment, slowing your life down. It connects you with life’s rhythm and Mother Nature. The view of a garden has beneficial positive impacts on you psychologically.
Stress can be hard on your body. It can cause headaches, heart attacks, irritability, heart attacks or even worse underlying medical conditions. A study was carried out to compare indoor reading and outdoor gardening with regards to stress relief. Unlike indoor reading, outdoor gardening significantly lowered cortisol levels in blood and improved the mood of the study subjects.
In other studies, garden settings and horticultural therapy can improve attention, reduce stress levels, reduce the need for drugs, and reduce pain and falls in older adults. Gardening can also help:
- Cope with physical challenges
- Recover from surgery
- Reduce physical pain
- Manage chronic conditions
3. Improving Relationships and Widening Your Community
Gardening can help eliminate loneliness and improve relationships. Many people get fewer to no chance to socialize after retirement. With community gardens, you can engage with others in a fun way while benefiting your neighborhood.
Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorizes community gardens as ‘collaborative projects’ running in shared open spaces. Therefore, you’re able to join other community members and participate in the maintenance of the garden and its products such as fresh fruits and veggies.
Use the American Community Gardening Association’s locator tool to find a community garden closest to you. According to the association, community gardening fosters community and neighborhood development and encourages self-reliance to improve the quality of life of its residents.
It also beautifies neighborhoods, promotes social interaction, lowers food budgets for families, conserves resources, produces nutrient-rich foods, and creates opportunities for exercise, recreation, education and therapy for locals.
Community gardens encourage people to spend more time outdoors, make new friends and get involved in the community, meet other like-minded gardeners and access useful tips and advice. They’re often located in churches, residences of senior citizens, city parks, health and community centers, school properties, etc.
In addition to growing organic, healthy food locally and enjoying various health gardening benefits of exercise, community gardens can help you socialize and build relationships with other community members. Take part in community events or exchange gardening tips with your neighbors. You won’t just get to interact with many different people in the wider community, but also widen your relationship and community at large.
Just as food benefits your body, an active social life and making friends can help you connect with your physical and mental health. Better interaction in the neighborhood, revitalization and beautification, community cohesion and values, and having a safe place for kids to play are other gardening benefits you can enjoy.
Community gardening also reduces cases of violence and fosters healthier lives in your neighborhood. It makes life fun, enjoyable and livable.
4. An Enjoyable Form of Exercise
Whichever time of the day or week you decide to garden, you’re bound to exercise your body and mind. Whether you’re digging, weeding, watering, sowing, pruning or even harvesting, you’re likely to get a full body workout. Your arms can benefit from carrying or lifting gardening tools or supplies.
On the other hand, your legs can gain from squatting while weeding. Bend your knees when picking something heavy to avoid injuries. As a form of exercise, gardening benefits you in many ways. For instance, it improves the supply of nutrients and oxygen to various parts of your body due to faster blood flow.
It can also reduce the risk of developing cancer, lower high blood pressure, boost muscle strength, maintain bone density and prevent life-threatening conditions such heart disease, among other health benefits of exercise. According to WebMD, DIY projects, gardening and housework, are as good as exercise when it comes to heart health. They reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
What makes gardening fun and enjoyable is that you get to engage in an activity you love. With the passion for gardening, you keep doing what you like.
5. Better Regulation of Your Immunity
Exposure to vitamin D is also another gardening benefit. Gardening outdoors in summer exposes to enough sunshine to give you vitamin D in plenty. With enough heat, you can easily fight flus and colds. What’s more, the dirt collected under your fingernails might work in your favor. Gardening soil contains a ‘friendly’ bacteria known Mycobacterium vaccae.
You can either ingest the bacteria through the fresh veggies you grow in your garden or inhale it into your system. The bacteria can help you eliminate the symptoms of allergies, psoriasis and even asthma. The three conditions can develop due to a weak immune system. Apart from boosting your immunity, the bacteria can also alleviate depression.
6. Getting Smart
Gardening doesn’t just workout your physical body, but also brain, meaning it has physical and mental benefits. Researching the right plants to garden, planning the layout of your garden and learning various techniques of gardening can easily jog your brain. The activities help your overcome challenges and use your creativity to come up with working solutions.
Similarly, kids can also gain from gardening health and mental benefits. Engaging in gardening can help students score high in standardized achievement tests for science. Gardening enables them to learn in engaging and active hands-on environment. Working outdoors is also helpful for kids with deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition linked to reduced exposure to sunshine.
With a range of gardening benefits at your disposal, you’ve got no reason to start your indoor or outdoor garden at home. You’ll get to grow the fruits and vegetables of your choice while amassing all kinds of health and mental benefits. There’s also no better way to engage your family and kids than gardening.
7. Therapeutic Impacts to Overcome Addiction
The ability to relax and elevate serotonin levels is one of gardening’s obvious advantages. However, gardening can also help individuals struggling with addiction overcome it. In fact, many programs for recovering from addiction include using plants.
Stepping outside the rehab facility presents hurdles for anyone seeking to overcome addiction. And in these situations, gardening therapy can keep them occupied and encourage them to try new things.
There are no specialized instruments or equipment required for this therapy. Simply being open to trying something new is all that is required. When going through withdrawal, the joy of seeing new life emerge from seeds can lift one’s spirits and improve the flow of happy hormones.
8. Fight Loneliness
Loneliness can start to set in strongly, whether you’ve recently moved to a new location far from your family or are retired. But, garden therapy is something that can assist you in combating your loneliness. Plants are incredible.
They beautify the environment, offer health advantages, and produce oxygen. Thus, it makes sense that caring for and growing plants would increase the release of dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals that help people fight their loneliness.
Indoor and outdoor gardening can similarly affect a gardener’s psychological well-being. Despite being immovable and unable to communicate verbally, plants can be as beloved as pets.
Additionally, plant parents can establish unique connections with their plants by providing them with water, nourishing the soil, feeding, pruning, and other care.
9. Explore Your Creative Side
You would be partially correct if you assumed that gardening was limited to growing plants in rows and columns. Gardening requires imagination. With inventive gardening techniques, one can brighten up their lawn and yard in a variety of ways. For instance, you can use your imagination to paint pots, combine various plants, design various gardens, and so forth. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to nurture your creative side if you spend more time with plants.
10. Connect with Nature
What could be a more effective approach to getting in touch with nature than gardening? And what could be more calming than being surrounded by greenery all the time?
That being said, gardening is not just about greenery but also the different hues, chirping of birds, the buzzing of bees, the fragrance of flowers, and so on.
When you are in the midst of nature, whether on your lawn or in your backyard garden, you realize that everything is a part of nature, including you. This insight can bring about a great deal of peace of mind.
11. Calming ADHD
Nature’s serenity can have a profound effect on our thoughts. Our psychological and emotional scars, in addition to our physical afflictions, can also be healed by nature. But did you know that plants can reduce hyperactivity in ADHD individuals?
You did hear correctly. For children with ADHD, going outside and engaging in creative pursuits can be useful. And for both adults and children, taking care of plants and gardening are wonderful ways to improve concentration and attention.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, exposing children to natural environments may be a highly effective way to lessen the symptoms of ADHD.
12. Get Healthy by Eating Good
Growing wholesome fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be accomplished by getting your hands dirty. You are aware of what and how you are cultivating. So, there is no longer any doubt about the food’s quality. In other words, you get the healthiest food in your kitchen. This is the best benefit gardening can provide for gardeners.
13. Make Life Simple
Gardening might be the solution if you adhere to the “simple living, high thinking” philosophy. How? The garden is where you observe the minute details crucial for survival. You can establish a connection with nature and understand that a fulfilling existence does not require material possessions. And this insight might provide you with great peace of mind, improving your general quality of life.
Absolutely yes. There are numerous health benefits of gardening. Here is a list of health benefits that gardening can offer.
• Boosts mood
• Reduces stress
• Calms nerves
• Builds immunity
• Helps overcome addiction
• Improves eyesight
• Improves sleep
• Keeps heart healthy
• Stimulates the mind, etc.
Gardeners typically have stronger immune systems because they cultivate and consume wholesome foods and live in wholesome environments. However, please remember that one needs to be mentally sound to be physically active. Gardens provide both.
Although gardening has multiple health benefits, two of its most important include stress reduction and weight loss.
Any scientific evidence does not support the claim that gardening increases longevity. However, gardening activities expose individuals to beneficial elements that improve their quality of life and prevent disease. These factors make sure gardeners live better, healthier lives.
According to research, gardening uplifts the spirit and makes gardeners happier. In other words, this activity boosts the release of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that keep cortisol levels low and the brain healthy.
Gardening is an excellent way to exercise as well as interact with nature. That said, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regularly working on lawns and maintaining yards for 30 to 45 minutes can consume as many as 300 calories.
Although we are not confirming it, most studies have shown that the average age of gardeners tends to be between 40-44 years.
When you spend more time in the garden, you pay attention to different activities like planting, watering, digging, etc. These activities help distract you from the stress of your life, and you will get a better sleep cycle in the absence of stress.