Working on your landscape or garden offers myriad physical and mental health benefits. Not only will you find these activities relaxing, but the activities also provide you with an opportunity to appreciate and connect with nature. In addition, many landscapers and gardeners view these activities as antidotes to the stresses/anxieties caused by modern, fast-paced lifestyles.
Working on your landscape or garden can provide healthy and fresh produce. Not only that, but it is also good at easing your stress, keeping you limber, and even improving your mood. Some of the health benefits of landscaping and gardening include:
1. Stress Relief
Working outdoors on your landscape or garden is an excellent stress reliever. It works better than many other leisure activities. The sounds, smells, and sights on the landscape reduce stress and promote relaxation. That explains why most people like to travel to the village to relax far away from the hustles and bustles associated with city life.
Next time you feel stressed, take your tools and head to the garden, get your hands dirty, and enjoy the sounds and the smells in the garden. You can even pick up a rake, go out and remove the fallen leaves, because it will relieve your stress.
2. Attitude and Mood Improvement
Research has shown that the attention you give to your plants while gardening can help improve your depression symptoms. Unfortunately, most of the time, you’ll find yourself stuck on your smartphone or behind your computer. If you never leave your screens, you’ll never have time to tend to your gardens and landscape.
Computers, smartphones, and other gadgets you spend hours working on cannot help your mood or attitude. Spending time in your garden tending your crops will help you develop a positive attitude. So, the next time you feel moody, get out there, soak up the sun, enjoy the breeze, and involve yourself in some work.
We don’t need to overemphasize the contribution of exercise to both mental and physical health. Exercise will improve the blood flow in your body and make your cells get enough oxygen supply.
Exercise is also good for weight loss because it helps you burn calories. When you exercise, you’ll keep all diseases related to excess weight at bay. The best form of exercise is doing what you like most. If you like gardening, this is a great form of exercise to keep weight off.
The activities involved in gardening such as weeding, planting, digging, and slashing require strength, making them good for your health. Take your time to work on your landscape or garden daily, and your life will never be the same again.
4. Cognitive Health
Some studies have shown that gardening-related physical activities can help lower your risk of developing memory loss (dementia). When you combine mental and physical activity as you work in your garden, your memory will get a boost. There are many things you can do out there.
Some of these include trimming or pruning flowers and shrubs, mending your fences, cutting down dead tree branches, and cleaning the landscape. All these gardening activities will improve your cognitive health.
Your landscape and garden can provide you with fresh fruits and vegetables to supply your body with nutrients and minerals. In addition, the fruits and vegetables you get from your garden are very healthy because you can control what fertilizers and chemicals you use on them. It, therefore, doesn’t come as a surprise that many researchers have found that gardeners eat more vegetables and fruits than non-gardeners.
Eating more fruits and vegetables prevents diseases associated with a lack of vitamins and minerals. Also, eating fruits and vegetables from your garden will bring you a sense of pride that’s good for both your physical and mental health.
6. Help Your Body to Fight Diseases
Just like plants need sunlight to photosynthesize, your body needs sunlight to make vitamin D.
By spending 30 minutes in the sun, your body will make 8,000 to 50,000 IU(international units ) of vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D your body produces will depend on your skin color and the clothes you wear.
Vitamin D performs hundreds of functions in your body. For example, it boosts your immune system, strengthens your bones, and lowers your cancer risk. It reduces the risk of prostate, bladder, colorectal, and breast cancers, multiple sclerosis, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
If your vitamin D levels are low, you’ll likely develop dementia, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and psoriasis. However, you need not over-expose your skin to sunlight, as this can cause skin cancer. A little sunshine while working in your garden is enough for a good amount of vitamin D.
7. Gardening Promotes Good Sleep
Gardening is a great exercise because it involves using major muscles in your body. Also, physical exertion like this may help you sleep better. That’s why after hard day’s work, you’ll find yourself sleeping soundly.
Research has shown that people who carry out gardening activities are likely to sleep soundly for at least seven hours, which is good for health. Activities like cutting grass and raking fall under light exercise, while digging, shoveling, and chopping are rigorous exercises.
8. Landscaping and Gardening Can Help You Recover from Addiction
Handling plants can help you recover from an addiction. Horticultural therapy is part of many addiction recovery therapies. As stated earlier, gardening provokes positive feelings and can help you through drug and alcohol recovery. In one study, researchers found that people who practice gardening recover faster from addiction than those who do not.
Hopefully, you now have a solution to your anxiety, bad mood, stress and depression. When you suffer from any of these conditions, pick your gardening tools and head to your garden. A simple activity like weeding can help to improve both your mental and physical health.