In addition to providing nutritious fruits and vegetables for your dinner table, and beautiful flowers to decorate it with, gardening offers a variety of health benefits.
1. Exposure to vitamin D
Getting some sun exposure increases the production of vitamin D which helps our body absorb calcium, needed for strong bones. Vitamin D additionally improves our immunity and boosts our mood.
2. Improved memory
Researchers found daily gardening to represent the single biggest risk reduction for dementia, reducing the incidence by 36%. Gardening involves functions, such as strength, endurance, dexterity, problem solving and sensory awareness that can give our brain a little oomph.
3. Working in dirt boosts mood and reduces stress
There is also a scientific reason why gardening makes you happy. Studies suggest that exposure to M. vaccae, a healthy bacteria that lives in the soil, can increase levels of serotonin and reduce anxiety. Taking a walk in the wild can provide similar benefits as well. Garden- ing can also help us to change our outlook on life as it requires us to have faith in the future. In that sense it is a hopeful thing to do.
4. Better sleep
The light activity associated with gardening can help you sleep better at night. And good sleep is vital to good health.
5. It burns a lot of calories
Gardening is considered a moderate-intensity exercise. You can burn about 330 calories doing one hour of light gardening and yard work – that is more than walking at a moderate pace for the same amount of time.
And if you have no garden?
Even if you don’t have a garden, you can profit from the benefits of garden- ing by taking long walks in nature and cultivating mini gardens in your home. Here are some ideas:
1. Start with a window box
There is space for one or more flower boxes everywhere: at windows, in the entrance area, simply on the house wall…
2. Grow a climber
Grow climbing plants: It doesn’t have to be an entire house wall, a green “archway” already sets pretty accents.
3. Use your walls
There are many plants that require little soil and water like sedum, alpine plants, succulents, lavender…
4. Go tropical
If there is enough space in the house, you can also create mini gardens under glass and create small biotopes in the living room.