Top 10 Benefits Of Gardening

The definition of a garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the cultivation, display, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The common single feature identifying even the most unkempt wild garden is control. And desire for control may be rooted in a fear of uncertainty. In these uncertain times nurturing a garden is literally keeping me sane.

Being in control of life sounds like a positive thing, and in most cases, it can be. But if you’ve been on this planet for more than five minutes you know, certain things are out of your control. What percentage of your life do you control? Some say you really have no control over 10 percent of what happens in your life. The other 90 percent is determined by your reaction. And my reaction to 2020 was…to start a garden.

A garden feeds not just the body, but the soul. Here are the top of health benefits of gardening.

Parsley leaves with raindrops - benefits of gardening
© P.K.A Alice Eaglefeather

Personal benefits

1. You will build muscle tissue. Although it is a lot more fun than a workout, digging in the dirt can tone your thighs, hoeing can strengthen your upper body and balancing yourself as you weed or prune can work your core. And because your garden requires regular attention, it will keep you to a good exercise schedule.  

From digging, planting bulbs, watering the plants, to general potting; you can burn between 175 to 300 calories every hour you spend gardening. You will also reduce your stress levels and improve your mood (hello, endorphins!). 

2. Better nights. You might not think it, but gardening is a meditative task that helps ease your mind. The focus on digging, potting, planting, etc., helps distract you from whatever is giving you stress, helping you relax more. Doing daily gardening will reduce your stress levels enough to start sleeping deeper and wake up feeling rested!

Another aspect that improves your sleep more than you think is spending time in the sun. Gardening is considered light therapy that helps reinforce your circadian rhythm cues that it is daytime, which then later helps you rest at night.

According to a study at National Library of Medicine, going outside each day is the best way to regulate your body clock and help you sleep. Harvard has done a similar study reiterating the same theory. Spending too much time indoors is biologically confusing and might impede how you sleep.


3. Fresh food. Eat delicious, more nutritious foods. As soon as fruits and vegetables are picked, they’re usually at their most nutritious. Spending days on a truck, at your grocery store and then in your fridge can cause a ton of nutrient loss. According to one study, depending on the storage temperature, spinach can lose half of its foliage content in four days. Harvesting food fresh from the garden ensures the nutrients are still fresh and available. 

4. Organic. When gardening at home, you know exactly what goes into the ground. Choose organic seeds, avoid pesticides and weed by hand. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that there are no harmful chemicals on the shiny red skin of those tomatoes. 

 “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” 

— Audrey Hepburn

5. Your kids will learn to love veggies. Many school programs have found that kids are more likely to eat vegetables that they’ve had a hand in growing. Get kids involved in the gardening process. Once they’ve done the work of planting those seeds or watering those carrots, they’ll be much more likely to try the harvested veggies. Vegetables will become snacks. Many of our unhealthy eating choices are made when we’re in a pinch. When you’ve got a garden full of fresh food in your backyard, there are always healthy choices at your fingertips.

6. Nature. Even aside from the benefits of good, clean fresh air, nature has healing powers. There are endless studies on the healthful effects of spending time in nature. Patients recovering from surgery who are exposed to nature and trees heal faster; others have experienced an improvement in blood pressure after viewing natural landscapes. And feeling like you’re communing with nature and the elements doesn’t hurt either. 

Related: How perennial beds can help sell your house

7. You’ll boost your mood. You’ll reduce your stress levels and improve your mood (hello, endorphins!)  While studies have shown that getting active in nature—no matter what you’re doing—is enough to boost your mood, gardening specifically has also been known to ease stress. 

8. Vitamins. When you’re out in the garden, you’re getting a healthy dose of vitamin D. If you’re in direct sun or spending long periods outdoors, you’ll want to remember to wear a hat and cover up with a good SPF, but a little bit of sun exposure is a healthy thing. That vitamin D protects your bones, your immune system and also helps keep you in that good mood. 

9. You’ll pay it forward. Once you plant a garden, it just keeps on giving. By the time the last week of August rolls around, you’ll find yourself spreading fresh produce, maybe even seeds or transplants, to friends and neighbors because you just can’t use it all.

10. You’ll look great with a tan. Specially now that you’re on a healthy diet and sleeping well.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. We encourage you to reach out to one of our experienced real estate professionals regarding your own situation.  

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