5 Healthful Benefits of Gardening

by Melissa Chichester

Summer is here and with better weather, it is a lot easier to head outside and get exercise. You don’t have to train for a marathon to gain the benefits of outdoor activities. One way to support your health and wellness is by partaking in a low-impact activity, like gardening, which has benefits for people of all ages.

Nutritious food

One of the best ways to enjoy more nutritious foods is to grow your own. That doesn’t mean you need to grow everything yourself, but by growing plants like windowsill herbs, you will learn more about the nutrients these foods contain. Plus, you will have more access to fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and leafy greens. Tomatoes, peppers, and butter lettuce are great choices to start with for beginners in most climates, and they can be grown in container gardens or the ground.

Improved mood

Did you know that gardening can increase feelings of well-being and positivity? Many researched studies show the benefit of being outdoors.

Fresh air and sunshine may help support a positive and improved mood.
Gardening also increases exposure to Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin.”

Low-impact, aerobic exercise

While enjoying the great outdoors, you may not even notice that you’re breaking up a sweat. While pulling weeds, digging up dirt, and moving flowers, you won’t even notice that you are giving muscles the conditioning and flexibility they need to support sustained mobility.

Socialization

You don’t have to garden alone. As one of the most popular activities out there, you can get involved with others. Help a friend with their garden or participate in community beautification projects. You will avoid loneliness and maybe even make new friends! It’s a great way to participate in Older Americans Month, too!

Increased self-esteem

Growing your own plants has a surprising impact on self-esteem. Whether you start your plant from seed or seedling, when it grows into something edible or attractive to the eye, you can relish the good feeling of growing something. Successfully becoming a green thumb is something to feel good about!

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