July 18, 2016

Health benefits of gardening

Gardening is enjoyable and satisfying for sure, but it’s also good for your health! Here are 5 reasons why.

You may love to garden for many reasons – the satisfaction of growing your own food, the opportunity to spend time in nature away from the rat race, or just the joy that comes from getting your hands in the dirt (kinda makes you feel like a kid again, doesn’t it?), but did you know that gardening is actually good for your health?

Besides encouraging your family to eat healthier foods, growing a garden has several other health benefits as well.

Here are 5 more reasons to grow a garden – for the health of your family and your community!

1.) It’s Sustainable!

As part of sustainable living, gardening helps to:

  • Reduce pesticide exposure and residue in soil.
  • Decrease distance traveled between the garden and your table since most urban gardens will be in your back yard, community, or home.
  • Shorter distance equals less fuel and less carbon emissions into the air.

2.) Exercise Alternative

Common nutrition advice usually encourages 2 1/2 hours of moderate aerobic activity for adults and older adults each week. This is about 60 minutes three times a week or 30 minutes five days a week. For children and teens it is about 60 minutes every day.

This may seem intimidating at first, but it’s attainable. Gardening is one unique way to get in those 30 minutes a day. Examples include: planting, hoeing, digging, raking, uprooting, pulling, weeding, and lifting.

3.) Increases fruit/veggie consumption

Families who grow food in their back yard are more likely to consume more fruits/vegetables than those who do not…. A 2009 review of 11 studies on gardening and eating habits in children showed that growing their own food made it more likely that children would try new foods (The Journal of the American Dietetics Association).

4.) Mental/Emotional Health

Gardening has been shown to decrease stress and increase a positive attitude….

5.) Spiritual Health

Spiritual health refers to our ability to connect with the world around us, realizing how everything in life is connected to one another. Gardening can help to bring us back to nature and increase our awareness of the world around us bringing calm and peace.

Read more at Helping Hands Matter

 

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About the author 

Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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