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Gardening Can Improve Your Health and Fitness

gardening & permaculture movement sustainable living Dec 15, 2016

Starting a garden comes with many perks among them being harvesting fresh vegetables to supplement your daily meals. If you are contemplating starting a garden, you stand to gain from a myriad of health and fitness benefits that will improve your overall well-being. In this article, we discuss some of these health benefits that arise from the practice of gardening.

 

This is a guest post by Amelia Robinson, a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. We hope that you find it enjoyable and informative.

 

1) Fresh produce

 

Fresh produce

 

Having a garden adorned with your favorite leafy vegetables goes beyond a pastime. A patch gives you a bountiful harvest of freshly grown vegetables and fruits that are free of harmful chemicals such as pesticides. After having shopped at the local farmers' market for many years, you have probably noticed that the produce grows through artificial interventions that lead to high levels of toxins in the food.

Planting your garden accords you the privilege of growing your crops organically by applying organic fertilizers and compost made from natural ingredients. Research shows that people who garden tend to consume more vegetables and fruits in their diet than people who rely on stores.

 

2) Relieves stress

 

Relieves stress

 

After a log day in the office coupled with a treacherous commute back home, cutting grass with a string trimmer will help alleviate the day's stress. The aura of thriving plants has a therapeutic effect that reduces the stress levels dramatically and elevates the mood.

Furthermore, exposing the skin to sunlight while gardening leads to secretion of melatonin that is responsible aiding a good night sleep. When the skin comes in contact with sunlight, the body releases serotonin, a hormone that has antidepressant properties. Watching your plants grow to maturity exudes a level of satisfaction that is great for your mental health.

 

3) Physical exercise

 

Physical exercise

 

Health and fitness enthusiasts can attest to the essence of outdoor activities that allow you to breathe in fresh air and interact with nature. Most people will prefer to take long hikes in canyons over the weekends or engage in outdoor sporting events such as water rafting and kayaking.

If you reside in the city or suburbs, access to rough terrain may be limited, but this should not deter you from outdoor activities. Start a garden in your front or backyard and get your dose of physical exercise in the form of pulling weeds, and watering plants. Invest in the right cutter to avoid pulling a muscle when pruning trees.

 

 

4) Improved brain function

Gardening on a regular basis reduces the risk of dementia among senior citizens. A combination of mental and physical activity has a positive impact on the brain, and it makes it easier to recover from mental fatigue.

Encourage elderly members of your family to engage in gardening as a hobby to bolster their health and stave off opportunistic diseases that are brought on by advanced age. The British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that regular gardening activities reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes by thirty percent among citizens aged sixty years and above.

 

 

5) Involve the kids

Involve the kids

 

The modern lifestyle we lead today presents plenty of distractions in the form of technology gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, and play stations. While these gadgets are an integral part of modern living, unlimited access leads to technology dependency where a child spends countless hours scouring the internet.

This dependence develops an antisocial behavior and harbors physical activity for your teenagers. Invest in a trimmer and a couple of mowers and assign them landscaping for at least one hour after school. You will end up with healthy children who value personal interactions above clicking away on their laptop.

 

6) Burn calories

Spending ample time tending to your garden helps you burn off calories without requiring additional exercise in the gym. Gardening comes with a range of tasks throughout the life cycle of the plants. Digging and turning compost are particularly strenuous activities that burn excess calories and keep your waistline trimmed.

A study by the American Journal of Public Health deduced that passionate gardeners record a lower body mass index (BMI) than their counterparts who did not engage in farming. Allocate thirty to forty minutes a day to routine maintenance in your lemon grove and before you know it, you will have a svelte silhouette to boot.

 

 

Conclusion

If your work schedule makes it difficult to carve out some time for working out in the gym or on the race track, you may want to take up gardening as a hobby. Use your gardening experience to enhance your physical health by engaging in intense activities.

 

About the Author

Amelia Robinson

 

Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog RobinsonLovePlants.com. You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants.

 

 


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