Does this extra time at home or uncertainty of these times have you jumping on the gardening trend? Times of crisis often inspire people to revisit the idea of growing their own food, and "pandemic gardens" are on the upswing as spring weather approaches.
But gardening provides many benefits beyond the joy of freshly picked produce from your backyard. It may come as a surprise to you, but gardening can also improve your health.
Physical Benefits of Gardening
Gardening provides many of the benefits of moderate physical activity. It can:
Consider the activities associated with gardening and you can quickly see how gardening can be a great alternative to traditional exercise:
- Digging requires upper body strength.
- Weeding involves bending and stretching.
- Trimming trees or bushes also requires strength and flexibility.
- Mowing the lawn provides a great opportunity to walk for 20 or more minutes, depending on the size of your lawn, and can help strengthen and tone your upper body.
Mental Boosts From Gardening
Equally important, gardening is a practical and aesthetic activity, offering a psychological lift as well as a physical workout. Interacting with nature and creating a beautiful surrounding for you and your family is great for stress reduction and an overall healthy lifestyle. And if you are growing a vegetable garden, your workout also benefits your diet!
Getting Started On Gardening
If you are new to gardening, there are a variety of resources to help you, both online and at your local library or bookstore. Be sure to know what areas of your yard get the most sun and which are in the most shade. That will help determine what plants to choose. Depending on the quality of your soil, you may need to add nutrients for your plants to thrive. You can purchase fertile topsoil, look for natural fertilizers, or add natural compost. Start slow and allow room for your plants to grow over time.
Gardening is an opportunity to choose the colors and greenery you want around you, adding value, beauty, and comfort to your home.
Benefits of Gardening with Your Kids
This article originally was published in the May 2017 edition of the Healthy U @ Work newsletter from WorkingWell. Courtesy of Complete Wellness Solutions. WorkingWell is a network of occupational health services and part of Franciscan Health. With locations in Northwest Indiana and Greater Indianapolis, WorkingWell's team of professionals provide high-quality medical care to business and industry, with a primary goal to work closely with employers to ensure employees are "working well."