Did you know that touching soil and plants can boost your immune system? Here are a few health reasons to get your green fingers working.
Gardening as a hobby has been making a comeback across the globe with people becoming more conscious over their health and lifestyles.
Although it may not seem like it, a lot of great health benefits can be gained through the act of gardening. This infographic by Organic Lesson highlights six that you may not have thought of.
For example, did you know that gardening could be a great stress reliever?
Or that gardening could also help reduce the risk of brain diseases like dementia when you get older? Check out the visual below for more information.
Keep in mind that some of the information sourced comes from research studies so they may not be 110% accurate, but in all honesty, gardening is one of those hobbies that will help you and not harm you.
Providing Stress Relief
According to a study conducted by the Wageningen University and Research Center, gardening could help reduce the level of stress.
The study found that gardening led to a a decrease in cortisol, the stress hormone, during the test recovery period. From my own experience, I hold this to be pretty true. As a hobby, there isn’t much that can be less stressful than gardening.
In my case, all I am doing on a daily basis is watering the plants. It’s strangely soothing to see the plants grow day by day.
Of course, the same might not necessarily hold true for those who own actual garden plants and are having to deal with problems like pests and weeds but that is still pretty minor compared to what you would have to deal with from other activities.
Strengthening Your Immune System
Dirt comes with plenty of bacteria and germ, which at first thought does not sound all that appealing. However, exposure to these bacteria, especially for infants and children, could help increase their resilience against diseases later in life.
For example, this report from the National Wildlife Federation suggests that children who don’t spend time outside also run the risk of serious health issues such as obesity and vitamin D deficiency. It is important to let your kids, at times, be exposed to outdoor environments.
Gardening Work Out
A lot of people underestimate how tiring gardening can be! In my case, it isn’t all that much since i am dealing with a just a few pots but if you have an actual outdoor yard to work with then you would have to take on activities like mowing, soil tilling, shoveling, and pruning.
These activities can be labor-intensive. That’s why I am not surprised by the figure that 3 hours of gardening can equate to 1 hour in a gym (in terms of calories).
To add on to our point on strengthening the immune system, dirt also contains a natural antidepressant called Mycobacterium vaccae.
According to studies, this particular antidepressant microbe causes cytokine levels to rise, which in turns raises the production of serotonin.
A Healthier Diet
This is probably something that relates to me the most. After I started to grow my own organic herbs, I became more conscious about what I hate. Gone are the days when I would be consuming fast food on a regular basis.
These days, I have a healthy salad for lunch and try and avoid anything too greasy for dinner. Hopefully, gardening would have the same effect for anyone else who have had an unhealthy lifestyle.
Stimulating the Brain
This probably applies more to the elderly but gardening is a great way to stimulate the brain. Gardening is one of those activities that include a bit of everything.
It includes physical exercise, social interactions, cognitive learning, and more. As reported on CNN, two studies have found that gardening could have a positive influence in reducing the risks of dementia for people in their 60s and 70s. Start early and maintain a positive well-being through gardening!