Gardening is Good for Your Health

Your Garden’s Okay…So You’re Okay

Now is as good a time as any to remind all of you dirty, sweaty gardeners about the benefits of your hard work.  It’s also a good time to point out the benefits to those who haven’t taken the leap of faith to get out and dig, yet.  Gardening is about more than just the beauty you create.

Green Exercise

First, let’s go over the obvious.  Gardening is exercise!  You burn calories and build muscle.  Gardening involves digging, bending, getting up and down, carrying and just plain walking.  Whether or not you succeed at producing an award-winning garden, just 45 minutes of digging in the garden can burn 199 calories.    You’re also getting outside and breathing fresh air.

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Health and Productivity

Hey, you’re being productive!  Whether you’ve grown a bumper crop of awesome tomatoes or a couple of roses to cut for an arrangement, you’ve produced something.  I picked and ate a single strawberry from a new variety I tried out this year, and it was delicious.  The others hadn’t ripened yet, but that one strawberry made my day.  And speaking of eating – there is no substitute for fruits and vegetables that you grow yourself!  They don’t spend time on a truck and you know exactly what went into them.  Gardening can become a family project and a fantastic a learning experience.  In addition to growing their own food, children can find great ways to enjoy plants.  Even something as simple as touching a plant with an unusual texture can be wonderful.  Have you ever touched lamb’s ear?

water on lambs ear

Environmentally Friendly

Planting gardens and containers is a great way to be environmentally friendly.  You can grow flowers to benefit much-needed pollinators (bees, butterflies) and to feed birds.  You can get involved in composting.  Plants improve air quality, both indoors and out.

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Mind, Body & Soul

Now for the best part (in my humble opinion):  gardening has all kinds of mental health benefits!  Plants are a tranquil lot.  They don’t talk back, they don’t make noise.  But you can talk to them!  Even the dreaded chore of weeding can serve to work out any frustrations you may have.  As with any physical labor, you may start out in a bad mood; but before you know it, you feel better.  Just admiring the plants and flowers in your garden or containers can give you feelings of peace and pleasure.  Gardens are self-esteem boosters.  Others admire what you’ve accomplished, and hey, you can pat yourself on the back, too.

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Your garden’s okay, you’re okay.  What’s not to love?

– Pam in Perennials

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