What makes up a beautiful day? Sunshine, clean air, a breeze filled with lovely scents, and the bright, lively greenery of a spring day. There’s something special about the way the grass is bright green when the sky is blue, or how the trees sway in the wind with a sea of rustling leaves. The colorful blossoms of flowers puts a smile on your face. Plants offer a break from the concrete and plastic of our every day. When they blossom, it feels like something must be right in the world, and you can feel a bit happier. It’s moments like these that I know gardening is good for you. How can it not be when it has such positive effects?
Keeping a garden is a beautiful way to bring the plants to you. Whether it be a vegetable garden in your yard or having a few houseplants, the benefits of gardening are amazing, even addictive once you get into it. Give it a try, and gardening just might become your new favorite pass time. Not only is gardening good for the environment, but it is good for you. Improve your well-being by indulging in a bit of green thumb practice.
My personal garden started with just one houseplant that I cared for, but as time passed, I realized how much I enjoyed watching it grow. I decided to adopt a few more plants to keep the other one company. I decided to keep all my plants inside due to limited space, but that didn’t stop me from creating quite a collection of plants that grew into a garden. Over time my collection expanded past my windowsill to a stack of shelves to organize all my plants. Now my flowers of lavender, chamomile, and hyacinth grow on the window; my succulents and ferns sit on the shelf in the shade, and my ivy tendrils down from the top of the rack, growing more every day.
Their green presence in my home adds peace and happiness to everyday life. I wasn’t stopped by my lack of a yard to start gardening as a hobby. It was so enjoyable that it became a big part of my life. I was surprised by the unexpected ways gardening benefited me.
Gardening is good for your body.
Gardening is Exercise
It is not widely known that gardening is actually a great form of exercise. For those who don’t like going to the gym or for those who struggle with intense workouts due to health reasons, gardening helps get you active through gentle activity. Walking around the yard, picking up bags of leaves, bending to pull weeds and watering your plants all activate different parts of your body.
If you struggle with aches and pains that make it hard to do certain activities like kneeling or bending over, don’t worry! Look into a couple of extra tools so that nothing holds you back. A kneeling pad can help aches from putting pressure on your knees, and a bench can ease back pain. We’ve found one that comes with both that’s pretty neat!
Raising your garden up to your height is also an excellent option to avoid bending down. Look into a garden planter raised to your desired height. These can also help with soil drainage and fertilization if you live in urban area or somewhere with poor soil.
Even though this limits mobility, reaching and bending and walking around your yard is still gentle movement. Of course, it’s important to exercise in other ways to keep your cardio in shape, like running, cycling, or swimming.
Gardening is good for your mind.
Gardening Provides Stress Relief
Allow yourself to become absorbed into the routine of caring for your plants, pruning dead leaves, watering the soil, and planting new seeds. This time in your garden, caring for your plants can become a type of meditation. Let all your thoughts and worries drift away as you work. Don’t worry if you become distracted by your thoughts while you are having a time of peace. Meditation is about learning how to let go of your thoughts, so you can apply this skill to a later time when you are dealing with a stressful situation. Acknowledge your feelings then let them flow away, refocusing on the task at hand: gardening.
Gardening helps relieve stress and more.
Gardening Improves Mental Health
Along with relieving built-up stress, which can be a huge release on your mind, gardening helps improve mental health in other ways too. Gardening is a positive and productive coping mechanism. By setting a routine and committing to a responsibility, you create a bit of normality in a world that seems out of control. And although often we want to hang on to anything that we can control, gardening is a way to personally grow. Accepting that the plants may not always grow how we want or that they will have unexpected results helps us to practice accepting and dealing with other things we can’t control. Embrace the nature of uncertainty.
For more ways that gardening can improve your mental health check out our article on more benefits of digging in the dirt.
Gardening is good for your health.
Gardening Helps You Eat Healthy
Growing a vegetable garden gives you easy access to healthy vegetables. Not only are you improving your health through exercise and stress relief, but you are being productive with your health. Once you get your crops going, it can even be cheaper to grow your own food. Organic prices are often higher, so by growing your own food, you can save money. You know where the vegetables are coming from and the care you put into them.
Besides having easy access to fresh vegetables, growing your own fruits and vegetables makes you more likely to eat them. You put hard work and love into your garden. You wouldn’t want all your work going to waste by not eating your vegetables. So make sure to harvest your ripe bounty and make a salad or cook a homegrown meal. It will make you feel better health-wise and mentally. Be proud of your accomplishment, and enjoy the fruits of your labor with a delicious meal.
Frequently Asked Questions: Why is Gardening Good for Me?
Why is gardening important?
Gardening has many benefits besides those that seem most obvious. Besides helping yourself, you can also help the environment and your community. Check out our article on why gardening is important.
Is gardening bad for me?
No, not as long as you take proper precautions. Wear UV protection like sunscreen and long sleeves when working outside. Make sure to hydrate and take stretch breaks when doing strenuous tasks.
Does gardening burn calories?
Yes! Even though it may seem gentle, about 90 minutes of work in the yard will definitely burn calories. The varying levels of work exerted is what determines how many calories you burned. Check out this article to learn more about gardening and exercise!