Gardening provides benefits beyond beautiful flowers and homegrown vegetables. The act of digging in the dirt offers several unexpected boosts to your physical and mental health and the gratifying experience of growing your own food.
If the warmer weather has you ready to stop and smell (and prune) the flowers, then rest assured that your hobby is keeping you healthy!
Outdoor Gardening Helps Your Body Fight Disease
Soaking up the sun while digging in the dirt allows your body to turn that sunlight into a vital nutrient: vitamin D.
Vitamin D strengthens your bones, boosts your immune system, and helps to lower your risk of cancer and multiple sclerosis. While you need to balance your UV rays with your risk of developing skin cancer, know that your time outside serves a critical function in maintaining your immune health.
Gardening Reduces Stress
Gardening has been shown to improve your mood, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even increase self-esteem. In a 2011 study of therapeutic horticulture, researchers found an overall improvement in mental health related to gardening, with the benefits lasting several months.
Gardening Reduces the Risk of Dementia
Several studies linking cognitive function and memory skills to horticulture find that gardening can trigger and improve the brain’s production of memory-related nerves. In addition, patients already experiencing symptoms of dementia see an improvement in symptoms after participating in horticulture therapy.
Gardening Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease
While most of us think of heart-healthy exercises as running, biking, or another heart-rate–boosting activity, physical exercise and stress reduction provided by gardening can also offer substantial heart health benefits.
A 2013 study found that gardening can cut the risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke by up to 30%. The connection to the natural world offered through gardening can provide significant, long-lasting mental and physical benefits. For more health awareness blogs, please visit www.stemedix.com/blog.