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Gardening health benefits: A natural therapy for your mind and body

Before and After BMI

March 30, 2017

Gardening health benefits: A natural therapy for your mind and body

Now that spring is here and the weather is warming up, it’s the perfect time to spruce up your outdoor area with a garden. While this activity creates a beautiful landscape, you’ll also find that there are many gardening health benefits for your mind and body.

Happy older woman lying down surrounded by gardening tools and plants.

Improving your health and longevity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest engaging in a combination of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week and participating in muscle-strengthening activities at least two times a week. These types of exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, colon cancer and many other chronic diseases.

The agency rates general gardening as a moderately intense activity, with continuous digging or hoeing considered to be high-intensity. In addition, gardening tasks such as shoveling or digging will help build muscle.

Close up of a person using a gardening tool to prepare soil for plants.

Boosting your activity level – even if you dislike exercise

If more traditional forms of exercise like running or working out at the gym just aren’t your thing, you may find that you love gardening.In addition to not necessarily feeling like exercise,gardening doesn’t seem boring or intimidating to most people. It is especially appealing to those who might not feel comfortable working out with weights or taking an exercise class. From digging to planting to weeding, gardening techniques will provide you with an easy exercise routine in your own backyard, as you work at your own pace and within your own abilities.

Even if you do like more traditional workouts, gardening can help you increase your activity level, vary your exercise routine and work different muscle groups.

Wooden box of fresh produce in front of person as example of gardening health benefits.

Increasing your intake of healthy foods

When you plant your own fruits or vegetables, you’ll be more likely to want to consume them. Growing and picking your own food is a satisfying experience, and even if you don’t love a particular food, you’re likely to find that it tastes much better and fresher coming from your own garden. To increase the variety of what you’re eating, coordinate with a neighbor so you can each grow and share different crops.

In addition, growing your own crops means you’ll be able to control exactly what goes into your food.If eating organic foods is important to you, you can stay away from the use of pesticides.

Woman smiling and closing eyes as she smells flowers in a garden.

Relieving stress

Many people find gardening to be incredibly therapeutic and meditative. Getting outside and digging in the dirt relaxes your mind and relieves stress, helping you to focus on something other than deadlines at work or problems in your personal life. The activity can help decrease anxiety and depression, and will give you the chance to work at something that yields a measurable, positive result.

Gardening-related tasks tend to be repetitive and soothing, meaning you’re effortlessly paying attention to what you’re doing – a welcome relief from the wired world that demands our constant attention.

Take advantage of better weather by discovering gardening health benefits for yourself! For more information on healthy weight loss, contact BMI of Texas.