6 Surprising Health Benefits of Gardening [Infographic]
At first glance, gardening may seem like a boring hobby, but it is actually fun and rewarding once you get into it. Did you know that gardening can lead to these six health benefits?
1. Gardening Strengthens the Immune System
Gardening may not sound enticing when you find out about the germs and bacteria that live in the soil. Well, the good news is that exposure to these microorganisms may help people, especially young children, build immunity against many types of diseases.
According to a report from the National Wildlife Federation, it’s important for parents to encourage their kids to take part in outdoor activities. Children who spend more time outdoors will feel less stressed, sleep better, and experience less ADHD symptoms.
2. Gardening Provides Stress Relief
According to a study by researchers at Wageningen University, gardening may have a calming effect by reducing the amount of stress hormones (cortisol) in the body. You may be surprised by how relaxed you feel after you spend some time among the plants.
3. Gardening Offers a Workout
Certain types of gardening may offer a pretty good workout. For example, one study found that three hours of gardening is similar to an hour spent in the gym (in terms of calories burnt). All the activities (e.g. pruning, digging) will add up and give you a good workout.
4. Gardening Elevates Happiness
According to a UK research study, dirt contains a natural antidepressant called Mycobacterium vaccae. This particular antidepressant causes cytokine levels to increase, which in turn boosts the production of serotonin.
5. Gardening Stimulates the Brain
Some studies have found that gardening has a positive influence on mental health due to its brain-stimulating properties. For example, regular gardening may help reduce the risks of dementia by 36%. Gardening isn’t just a physical activity. It’s also a hobby that can offer plenty of social interactions and cognitive learning.
6. Gardening Encourages a Healthier Diet
There’s a good chance of people maintaining a healthier diet if they start to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Gardening can make us more conscious over what we eat. It encourages us to question the source of what we eat, and whether there is a healthier alternative for it.
Yes, there are also parts of gardening that may be difficult to deal with, such as the infestation of pests like gnats and ants. We think, however, that most gardeners will agree that the benefits of gardening clearly outweigh the drawbacks.
So what are you waiting for? Start gardening today. Start off small by growing a few indoor plants then work your way up to a bigger-sized garden as you get more comfortable with the various aspects of gardening. There are so many positive things we can gain from it!