There are actually many health benefits of gardening, both mental and physical. Our list of some of the most impactful gardening health benefits may surprise you.

8 Tips to Reap the Health Benefits From Gardening

8 Ways to Boost the Health Benefits of Gardening

Spring is finally here, and for gardeners who’ve been cooped up in chillier parts of the country, that means it’s time to get outside and get a little dirty — and maybe a little healthy, too.

Gardening is good for you. Studies show it is real exercise, with benefits that may include everything from stronger hands to healthier hearts and longer lives. One Swedish study found lower rates of stroke, heart attack and early death among older gardeners, regardless of their other exercise habits. Gardening also can be a boon for the mind and a way to connect with other people.

Gardening is not only a relaxing and enjoyable hobby, but it also has numerous health benefits, such as reducing stress, improving mental clarity, and increasing physical activity.

Want to make a healthy habit even healthier? Consider these eight ideas:

Use organic methods

Avoid using harmful chemicals in your garden, as they can negatively affect your health and the environment. Instead, use organic methods such as composting, companion planting, and natural pest control.

Plant herbs

Herbs not only add flavor to your food but also have many health benefits. For example, basil has anti-inflammatory properties, and rosemary can improve memory and concentration.

Grow fruits and vegetables

Growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to increase your intake of fresh produce. This can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Incorporate aromatherapy

Many herbs and flowers have a relaxing and calming effect when their scent is inhaled. Lavender, chamomile, and jasmine are just a few examples of plants that can be used for aromatherapy.

Create a sensory garden

A sensory garden can stimulate all five senses and provide therapeutic benefits. Include plants with different textures, colors, and scents.

Practice mindfulness

Gardening can be a meditative practice that helps reduce stress and improve mental clarity. Take time to focus on the task at hand and enjoy the present moment.

Get enough sunlight

Exposure to sunlight can help your body produce vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and immune function. Make sure to spend some time in the sun while gardening, but be sure to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Stay hydrated

Gardening can be a physically demanding activity, so it's important to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially on hot days.

Physical Benefits

To help you gain a better understanding of how gardening improves your health, let’s start with the physical benefits of gardening. Some of the top physical benefits include:

  • Full Body Exercise: Regular gardening can be quite the workout. According to a study published by the journal Public Health Nutrition in 2005, activities like digging, mowing, and raking all burn a significant number of calories.
  • Improved Dexterity: While the regular aerobic exercise of gardening will help keep you fit, the types of maneuvers you need to make with your hands actually allow you to increase your dexterity too. This ensures that the joints in your hands stay flexible and healthy regardless of your age.
  • Increased Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an incredibly important component of physical health, as it impacts a variety of different areas in your body. By working outdoors and increasing your exposure to one of the best natural sources of vitamin D — the sun — you can boost your immune system and possibly reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers, dementia, and more. Just be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect yourself from skin cancer.
  • Improved Nutrition: Aside from the more direct gardening health benefits described above, there are more indirect benefits as well. Those who opt to grow herbs, vegetables, and fruits tend to eat more fresh, produce, and they know exactly which, if any, pesticides were used in the garden.

Mental/Emotional Health Benefits

Not only is gardening good for your health on a physical level, but it can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health as well. Some of the top mental health and wellbeing benefits of gardening include:

  • Reduced Stress: So why is gardening good for you in regard to mental health? One reason is that it actually helps to reduce stress. Gardening is a very focus-intensive, meditative activity. A 2011 study published by the Journal of Health Psychology found that gardening caused a decrease of the stress hormone cortisol in test subjects.
  • Increased Happiness: This might seem like a bold statement, and we wouldn’t fault you for wondering, how is gardening good for you in terms of overall happiness? The secret is in the soil. In 2007, a neuroscientist named Christopher Lowry published a study that revealed that specific bacteria most often found in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, had the same effect as antidepressant medication.
  • Increased Self-Esteem: The accomplishment of being able to successfully nurture the life in your garden from little seedlings into full-grown plants provides a huge boost to your self-esteem. Even when things go wrong, you will learn and improve from these mistakes, which boosts confidence overall.
  • Stronger Ties to Your Community: Finally, gardening provides a great avenue for human connection. When gardening outside, you’re far more likely to see and interact with your neighbors. You also become connected to the greater gardening community. These kinds of social ties are invaluable for your mental health.

Overall, spring is a great time to reset your health and make positive changes in your life. By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can improve your physical and mental health, and set yourself up for a happy and healthy season ahead. Reach out to our team to learn more about ER of Texas health and our services either through our website or by giving us a call.

We have 9 facilities spread across the DFW area with average wait times of less than 10 mins that are OPEN 24/7 located in Hurst, Colleyville, Frisco, Highland Village, Hillcrest, Uptown, Little Elm, Mansfield, and Texoma.