Gardens require a great deal of time, energy, and effort. But, all of that hard work pays off when you see beautiful flowers and fresh, delicious produce growing in your own yard or in your community garden. If you are on the fence about starting a garden this season, consider the following four health benefits it will deliver to you.

 

  1. You Will Make Better Eating Choices

 

Knowing that you put the time and energy into your garden will translate to eating more fruits and vegetables than you would if you purchased them from a market or store. You will have instant access to fresh produce when you grow your garden, which also makes you more likely to reach for a healthy food than a packaged one. And, you will pick your produce as soon as it is ripe, so you will get more nutrients out of it than you do produce in the store that travels great distances or was picked early to make the trip to the store. Anytime you grow your own food, you control the soil, water, and fertilizer, so you can know that your food is safe and contaminant-free. Overall, your garden is within arm’s reach and is full of fresh, healthy foods that will help you to make much better eating choices.

 

  1. You Will Get Exercise Even if You Don’t Like to Exercise

 

Even though we all know we need to be exercising to stay in good physical and mental health, many people struggle to find an exercise they enjoy enough to do regularly. Gardening requires physical activity and gets people moving – even people who otherwise avoid exercise. To garden properly, you need to carry large bags of garden soil and compost or mulch, turn over soil, dig trenches, haul water, and bend, squat, and stretch to tend to plants and pull weeds. All of that physical activity adds up to quite an exercise routine even if you don’t step foot in a gym all season long.

 

  1. You Will Learn and Stimulate Your Mind

 

Unless you were born with a strong green thumb, you’ll most likely turn to the internet, books, or fellow gardeners to learn how to make your garden the best it can be. Reading, researching, and talking stimulate the mind and boost your mental health. When you talk with other gardeners, you also benefit from social interaction and sharing tips; many people find that social interaction staves off loneliness and depression, too.

 

If you are dedicated to a healthier lifestyle, you may want to find a way to garden all year. Learning how to build a solar greenhouse is a great way to stimulate your mind and grow your own produce year-round. Be sure you have a large enough area and pick a spot that gets a good deal of sunlight. Orient your greenhouse to face east and determine the layout of your garden. Select materials that allow at least 70% of the natural sunlight in while keeping energy loss to a minimum. Then, insulate your space, ventilate your greenhouse, take advantage of materials that supply thermal mass to the greenhouse, and experiment to create optimal growing conditions.

 

  1. You Will Get Relief from Stress

 

Growing a garden is an ideal stress reliever. First, the physical activities you will complete to grow your garden will relieve stress as you move to focus on planting, pruning, weeding, and harvesting. You’ll also get regular exposure to vitamin D from sunlight, which boosts your mood. Tending to a garden is a repetitive practice much like meditation; you’ll have the chance to clear your mind in a quiet, serene space while you tend to your plants. You’ll also have the chance to pay attention to nature and less attention to work and other stress-inducing challenges while you are busy in your garden.

 

The health benefits of gardening are plentiful and include making better eating choices, getting plenty of exercise, learning and stimulating your mind, and relieving stress.

 

 (Image used: Not property of Earthadelic)

Categories: Gardening Tips

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