Gardening has often been prescribed as an antidote to mental suffering such as stress and anxiety. Digging in the earth, enjoying the warm sunshine and watching living things grow are huge stress-relieving rewards for your gardening efforts. But have you considered the physical reward to using gardening as a stress reliever?
Beyond the obvious benefits of mental restoration, you should also consider gardening activity as a physical reward that can bring restored health and vigor to your body. When you feel good from being outdoors and creating something substantial in the way of beauty or food for the garden, your sense of well-being will increase.
Studies show that gardeners have more optimism and appreciation for life than non-gardeners. The good thing is that you only need some houseplants or a small space in a window or on a patio to get both mental and physical satisfaction from gardening.
Physical Health Benefits of Gardening
As well as being a type of anti-depressant, gardening is also a tonic for what ails the body.
You can lower your risk of osteoporosis as you age by getting the physical exercise that comes from gardening.
Your bones are improved by natural movement and activity. One amazing scientific study found that women who engaged in gardening activities and work in the yard had much lower rates of osteoporosis than even swimmers and joggers.
Carrying loads of soil and compost, pulling weeds, digging holes and bending over to plant tend to keep osteoporosis from attacking your body. And the mental satisfaction may also ward off stress that leads to bone and muscle problems.
Another physical benefit of gardening is the rest you receive afterward. Studies with those who have problems with anxiety and forgetfulness show that gardening promotes better sleep and rest – boosting physical stamina.
One factor in managing diabetes is getting enough exercise. Gardening can provide at least 150 minutes per week of well-needed exercise – especially for those who have sedentary jobs.
Fresh produce is another factor in gaining physical health from gardening. The more healthy changes you can make to your diet, the better you’ll feel. You can also better maintain a healthy weight by eating fresh veggies and fruits from your garden.
Find what works best for you
Whether you’re gardening to bring beauty into your life or to eat and become healthier, being outdoors and enjoying nature’s bounty can work wonders in your life. There are many books and much online help available for beginning gardeners and so many fun ways to garden.
Tower gardening, hydroponic gardening, raised bed gardening, and many more types can provide the mental and physical boost you need to keep your health in check and to provide many hours of fun and relaxation.
Check with an expert at your local nursery about how you can create as much or as little gardening activity in your life as you want and need. If you dread going to the gym or are afraid that running and jogging might be harmful to your body, gardening is a great exercise to begin your journey toward better physical health.
The physical reward to using gardening as a stress reliever is significant and well-documented. If you suffer from stress-related physical problems, try gardening as a fun and relaxing way to nourish the soul and the body.