I’ve said this a few times before… the amount of enjoyment I get out of yard work is so unexpected! It’s literally one of my favorite part of owning our bungalow. I love getting my hands dirty, planning landscaping projects, and planting things for us to eat. Or even plants that are just pretty to look at and smell good! I don’t know why, this always surprises me, still! But in talking with my coach, it makes sense because there are so many health benefits of gardening. I decided to dig a bit further and research why that is so I could share with you today.
Just a Few of The Health Benefits of Gardening!
Moving your body
With gyms closed and limited access to the outdoors, I am definitely exercising way less than before quarantine. But lately, I’ve been supplementing that with gardening. It can be quite a workout! Think about it: lots of digging, hauling roots, dirt, and compost, and engaging different muscles to get into weird positions (aka planting yoga).
Mental health benefits
It’s no surprise to me that digging in the dirt and getting your hands dirty helps to reduce depression and anxiety. Gardening is also a huge stress reliever, something I can majorly attest to. Whenever I feel totally overwhelmed (a lot, lately), I feel calmer after I’ve spent even just an hour tending to my veggie garden or pulling weeds. It’s funny because you’d expect my mind to work overtime while doing this… but it doesn’t. Instead, gardening almost feels meditative to me.
Physical health benefits
Here’s where the research I did comes in handy. Apparently, gardening for 30 to 45 minutes can lower your blood pressure (according to the CDC). Plus, if you do it on a sunny day, you’ll be absorbing Vitamin D. That’s great for your immune system! Definitely make sure you wear sunscreen though.
A deep feeling of satisfaction
So… maybe this isn’t exactly a health benefit of gardening, but it is definitely worth talking about. I get the most intense feeling of satisfaction at the end of a long day of planting and yard work! I feel like I’ve bonded with the earth, made my home even better, and soothed my soul by physically doing something. There’s also a certain primal feeling to gardening, like it’s something our ancestors have done forever.
Most of the gardening that I do is to grow our own vegetables and herbs. Because of that, I feel like we eat healthier! After all, if I’ve spent the time and resources to grow the food, we should definitely eat it. Thanks to my garden, we usually have a robust salad with every meal… and don’t even get me started on tomato season!
I love that gardening can play such a big role in my self-care routine now and totally encourage you to do the same — even if it is for just a small patio or balcony!