The Goodness of Gardening
By Brandi Goodman
April is National Gardening Month. The activity is beneficial for more than just the earth. It's worthwhile for the people doing the job. There is lots of goodness to gardening that helps to soothe the soul and bring more health benefits than one could imagine.
Gardening is essentially a form of aerobic exercise. You'll work out your muscles as you reach toward your tools, pull out weeds, bend as you grab necessary equipment. All the while you'll be breathing in the fresh air around you. Just be sure to stretch before you start and stay hydrated so the muscles you work can remain flexible and free from injury.
Being outdoors, as well as doing something you enjoy, can relieve stress. Endorphins get released that signal your brain to feel happy. Just 30 minutes of gardening can lower the stress hormone cortisol significantly. You'll experience a better mood and improved well-being.
Possibility for Connection
You don't have to garden at home alone. Community gardens exist. You can also find volunteer opportunities where you plant trees or flowers around a neighborhood or public park. These options allow you to connect with others. It's ideal if you've been feeling lonely and want to socialize with others who share an interest with you.
Improved Cognitive Function
Staying active, as well as regularly surrounding yourself with nature, are two ways to boost cognitive function. Being outdoors spending time gardening boosts your brain power. You get plenty of Vitamin D that helps your mind, bones, and immune system. Studies have even shown that gardening can decrease the risk of developing dementia particularly in those who continue to garden late into life.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Illness
Also due to an increase in Vitamin D as well as the exercise received, gardening can reduce the risk for heart disease and other illness. You'll cut down your risk for stroke and heart attack significantly. Spend 30 minutes per day gardening or completing activities outdoors. Break it into two 15-minute intervals or even three 10-minute intervals if you need to so you can get your time in.
Try your hand at gardening and experience the many benefits the activity has to offer. If you don't have a green thumb, don't worry. Simply spend time outdoors pulling weeds, trimming some hedges, or raking up leaves. Any sort of related activity can do wonders for both your physical and mental health.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pinole, Calif.