Gardening for wellness and the environment
Gardeners know they’ve had some decent exercise if spend the day digging, weeding, planting or harvesting – especially if it’s a warmer day.
That’s something more of us are doing now that it’s Spring and we can spend more time outdoors. But there are many benefits of gardening besides exercise – it can be great for the planet and also for our own wellbeing.
Now is a good time to take advantage of good weather and get the boost that gardening offers. Here are some of the ways gardening is good – and why not leave us a comment if you have others?
Home grown produce can really boost your health, particularly if it’s organic. By growing fruits and vegetables at home, you can choose not to use pesticide sprays or potentially harmful fertilisers so that the produce offers the goodness of organic. And you can add more variety to your diet without having to buy from stores. Remember you don’t just have to grow fruit and veges – why not try herbs or edible flowers?
If you’ve felt better after being out in nature or doing some gardening, it’s with good reason. Studies show that gardening can boost our mental clarity, memory and ability to concentrate. In fact, a US ATM university article found that being around plants, flowers and parks can result in feelings of increased vitality, lower stress levels, and a more positive outlook.
3. Vitamin D
Gardening is a good way to get out in the sun, and that means our body will produce more vitamin D. With sensible, safe exposure to sun and more vitamin D, our bodies are more effective at absorbing certain minerals, our bones and teeth are more likely to be healthy, and our immune system can be strengthened.
The US Department of Health and Human Services rates gardening as a form of moderate exercise and recommends 30-45 minutes of gardening as a task that can help with weight management. You can burn a significant number of calories – why not try this online calculator to work out how many calories you might burn during a gardening session? And gardening can help lower our risk of certain conditions - according to a US university article, 2.5 hours per week can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and more.
If you set up a home garden, you’re more likely to help the planet because the plants will capture CO2 from the atmosphere to help cut greenhouse gas emissions. And in your own garden you can choose to make it organic and not harm the soil, air or groundwater with potentially damaging sprays or fertilisers. Your garden is also a way to help bees, birds and butterflies with a healthier habitat, and if you start composting, you can also reduce food waste sent to landfill and create nourishing natural fertiliser.