Three Positive Mental and Physical Effects of Gardening

Gardening can lead to both functional and aesthetic results, and it’s a great hobby with a relatively low barrier to entry. Whether you’re working in a large yard or small plot of dirt, you can create something beautiful and harvest the results for food. It should come as no surprise that nearly one-third of American households have a food garden.

However, these benefits only scratch the surface of what gardening can offer. In fact, this simple and relaxing hobby can have a significant impact on both your mental and physical health. It’s far easier than wielding an electric chainsaw to trim tree growth, and it also provides results relatively quickly.

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Studies have found that gardening provides many more advantages than we originally assumed. These are some of the most common benefits found in gardening.

1. Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke

While gardening alone probably isn’t a safe way to address your health concerns, there have been surprisingly encouraging results on its impact on common conditions. In fact, a Swedish study found that people over 60 are 30% less likely to have a stroke or heart attack if they garden or engage in similar home projects.

Simply gardening for half an hour a day is enough to encourage significant positive developments in your physical health. Being active outdoors will help you maintain your mobility. The additional Vitamin D absorbed from the sun will lower the risk of heart disease along with a variety of negative health conditions.

2. Avoiding Alzheimer’s and other brain conditions

As we age, a variety of physical and mental conditions become more common, and it’s worth considering taking measures to reduce our risk. Gardening is a great way to lower your chances of acquiring Alzheimer's and other mental conditions like dementia. In fact, some studies indicate that it’s actually the best way to avoid these serious diseases.

Although the exact reasons for this phenomenon aren’t yet clear, what is obvious is that those with a family history of mental conditions related to old age should consider taking up gardening. Being outdoors and active while solving gardening-related problems that arise will help you stay sharp.

3. Improving self-esteem and decreasing stress

At a time when mental health conditions are becoming more common, and life is more fast-paced than ever before, it’s important to focus on self-care. Making room for personal time and hobbies in your schedule is a great way to do that. Gardening allows you to decompress from the stresses of daily life while channeling your energy in a positive way.

Gardening has actually been linked to lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that is responsible for stress and certain other health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and memory-related issues. While gardening isn’t a cure-all for every possible condition, taking it up can prompt positive changes in a variety of contexts.

Whether you’re naturally outdoorsy or simply curious about the possibilities of gardening, taking some time out of your schedule will help you maintain and improve both your mental and physical health. People of all ages and lifestyles can benefit from incorporating gardening into their lives.

Editor's Note: This informative and interesting guest post (not sponsored or paid by Self Sufficient Me) was written by Freelance Writer Anita.   

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