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Gardening Is a Fun Hobby With Health Benefits

By Paul Rothbart

Gardening is a very enjoyable activity practiced by many. There's something soothing about nurturing living things. You can grow flowers that look beautiful and smell very nice. Vegetable gardens and fruit trees yield fresh produce for healthy meals. There are a number of different ways to grow plants and trees. You can choose the one that suits your living situation best. Research has discovered that gardening offers a number of health benefits that make it an even more attractive hobby option. Here are some ways gardening is good for you.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential to helping the body use calcium to strengthen bones and aid the immune system. Some foods do provide Vitamin D but it is not as common as other nutrients. The body uses sunshine to produce Vitamin D. A 2014 study conducted in Italy found that sunlight was especially helpful to older adults in Vitamin D production. Gardening gets you out in the sun, planting, watering, and weeding. Be sure to use sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. Too much sun can be damaging.

Lower Risk of Dementia

Dementia is a risk for aging adults. A 2006 study tracked 2,800 people over the age of 60 for 16 years. The researchers found that physical activity, particularly gardening, reduced the risk of dementia by 36 percent. Gardening is a great way to keep your mind sharp as you age.

Improved Mood

Research done in the Netherlands found that gardening is one of the best hobbies for relieving stress. Subjects in the study who gardened showed lower levels of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol than those who engaged in other hobbies. Less stress means a better overall mood.

Aerobic Exercise

One of the best benefits of gardening is that it is a great cardio workout and you don't even realize you are exercising. Digging, planting, and pulling weeds involving kneeling, bending, and stretching. You are focused on accomplishing a goal without noticing what a sweat you work up. It's a great way to have fun while building strength, stamina, and flexibility.

Good Way to Socialize

While gardening may seem to be a solitary pursuit, there are opportunities to socialize. Many towns have community gardens in which citizens come together to tend to the plants. Working with others in a common favorite hobby is a great way to interact. Socialization helps the brain produce the chemicals that induce happiness.

Having a hobby is a wonderful way to spend your down time. There are many activities to choose from, but gardening is one of the best in terms of health benefits. Who knows? You may have a green thumb.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Georgetown, Tex.

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