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Why Gardening is Good for Your Health

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”

- Luther Burbank

Why Gardening is Good for Your Health: Your Body

Calorie Burn

Gardening can burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories per hour! According to Webmd, heavy yard work like landscaping, raking leaves, moving rocks, and hauling dirt can burn 400 to 600 calories an hour, and gardening activities like pulling weeds and planting flowers can burn 200 to 400 calories. Mowing the lawn burns 250 to 350 calories. That is a push mower, guys! Riding mowers don’t count! You can still get the benefits of sunlight and fresh air though!

 

Sunlight

Soak up the sun, and soak up the Vitamin D. Sunlight provides vitamin D which has many health benefits including maintaining healthy bones and teeth and supporting the immune system, lung function, and heart health. Don’t skip the sunblock for long stretches in the sun. 10 to 15 minutes a few times per week of full sun exposure can go a long way in getting enough vitamin D. After that, slather on the sunblock! Recent studies show that sunlight exposure may even reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes by lowering lipid levels and blood insulin.

Fresh Air

Ah, fresh air. Escape those germs, bacteria, and viruses that love to hang out indoors by heading outside. It isn’t a myth; fresh air is good for your health. Fresh air strengthens your immune system. The extra oxygen and even the smells of fresh air (flowers, trees, rain, etc) can energize you and improve your mood.

So, enjoy your beautiful yard, lose weight, and get healthier with gardening! Remember to get up and stretch to reduce back issues and stiffness when planting, pulling weeds, and sitting or bending over for long periods. A little break with a walk around the yard breaks up the monotony, gives your back and you a break, and helps you get those steps in!

Why Gardening is Good for Your Health: Your Brain

We all know exercise is good for mental health and being outdoors is good for your mental health. So, obviously gardening is great for your brain. Studies have shown that gardening reduces stress by decreasing cortisol production. The exercise aspect of gardening stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine. These depression fighting neurotransmitters help us feel good. Being outside around nature makes us feel better and is even reported to improve concentration.

Fresh Air

The abundant fresh oxygen that is available outdoors improves our well-being and mood. Oxygen is critical to maintaining healthy brain function. It also helps cells create more energy which allows the brain to work and repair itself better.

Sunlight

Sunlight can also increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can improve your mood, sleep, appetite, digestion, and even sexual desire and performance. Sunlight exposure can improve sleep by helping you produce more natural melatonin at night. It also lowers the risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Soil

Mycobacterium vaccae (or the fun stuff found in soil) has been found to increase serotonin levels as well. So, go get those hands in the earth and plant something!

Why Gardening is Good for Your Health: Kid’s Edition

Get the kids involved! Gardening is good for their health too. There is so much to teach and learn when it comes to gardening. Children absorb information like a sponge and gardening sparks curiosity. Gardening is good for their bodies and brains and can create lasting memories. Make gardening family time!

Now you know Why Gardening is Good for Your Health! Go get your hands dirty and get healthy!


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