If you ever wanted an excuse to spend more time in the garden, or if you are in need of a proverbial kick up the backside to tend to your plants and bushes, then know that gardening is good for your health.
Provided you stick to the health and safety guidelines we gave you in one of our previous articles, getting out in the garden is good for both your physical and mental wellbeing. We will explore some of the reasons why here, so after reading, consider digging out those gardening gloves and spend time more outdoors to better improve your quality of life.
#1: Gardening can improve your self-esteem
Do you have a problem with your self-confidence? Does it wilt faster than a badly looked after flower? If so, nurture your self-esteem by nurturing the plants and flowers in your garden. Follow this beginner's guide if your fingers are less than a shade of green, and watch as your efforts in the garden take fruit, perhaps literally, as the plants and crops you cultivate grow alongside your self-esteem. Gardening is a worthwhile hobby, as it's one of the few activities where you can reap the rewards of your efforts, in both a literal sense, and in the way you can feel rewarded by what you have accomplished.
#2: Gardening is good for your diet
If you spend longer in the processed food and cake aisle than the fruit and veg section in your local supermarket, know that you aren't getting the recognised five-a-day to improve your health. To preserve your life, you need to eat those foods that give you the essential nutrients for your wellbeing, and you won't find them in the freezer section at the store. Fresh fruit and vegetables are the way to go, especially if they are organically grown. You can do this yourself at home, growing everything from strawberries to potatoes in your garden. If you don't have a garden, or if size is an issue, you can also grow food indoors, or as discussed by Highland Titles, with a square foot gardening system in the space you do have. And because you are growing your own food, you are also preserving your financial as well as your physical health, as you won't have to spend a fortune on groceries in the supermarket!
#3: Gardening is good for your heart
Your risk of a heart attack is increased when you spend the majority of your time sitting around, so any form of exercise is good for you, as you will be doing something to strengthen your heart. Daily activities such as housework and gardening are effective ways to reduce cardiovascular problems, so after vacuuming your living room, get your gardening gloves on and have a potter around outside. Half an hour in the garden is enough to reduce the risk of any heart problems, according to this 2016 article, so even on the chilliest of days, you can still do something outdoors before retreating into the warmer confines of your home.
#4: Gardening can lower your stress levels
We can't always avoid stress, but we can take part in activities that actively reduce our stress levels. And yes, this includes gardening! Being outdoors in the fresh air and sunlight can trigger happy responses in your brain. The physical exertion of manual labour can rake away your stress. Repetitive activities such as weeding and tending to your crops can distract you from life's problems. And in the quiet space of your garden, you might also have time to contemplate and gain perspective on your life, away from the hustle and bustle of the stresses of the world outside your living space.
#5: Gardening will improve your level of sleep
Getting our z's is vital to our long-term health, as suggested here, but if you have difficulty nodding off at night, know that a spot of gardening can actively help you. The physical activities you take part in outdoors will tire you out, so try and do something in the garden a few hours before bedtime. And because the fresh air will reduce your anxiety levels, you should have less on your mind when you finally hit the pillow. You might also use your time in the garden to catch up on your sleep, perhaps with a lie down in your hammock after working. Ensure you stay in the shade, however, as you don't want to wake up looking redder than a freshly cooked lobster on those hot summer days!
So, what are you waiting for? For fun, food, and the long-term benefits to your health, make the effort to spend more time in your garden this year. You will increase your life chances if you do!