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7 Surprising Ways Gardening Improves Your Health

Planting flowers might be the answer to all your aches and pains—both mental and physical.

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There’s nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment you get when you plant a garden. And the even greater satisfaction you feel when you manage to keep everything in the garden alive. But did you know that weeding and watering can help you live longer and make your life more enjoyable? It’s true! Here are 7 surprising ways gardening improves your health:

1. It keeps your heart healthy

Gardening can make your heart happy. Both figuratively and literally! A recent study shows that gardening regularly can reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by 30%.

2. It combats loneliness

In a society that praises anti-social behavior, it can be pretty disheartening to know that loneliness can increase your risk for premature death by 50%. Yikes. Luckily, gardening can give you opportunities to bond with loved ones, or even with your community if you choose to participate in community gardening. Nothing builds relationships like weeding a garden together!

3. It prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s

Keeping your brain healthy could just be one shovel full of soil away! Gardening requires you to use a variety of brain functions like problem-solving and sensory awareness, and research shows that doing it regularly can reduce your risk for dementia by 36%.

Related: Why I Love Cross Stitching

4. It lowers stress

Stopping to smell the roses really could be the key to relieving your stress. A study that was conducted in the Netherlands required participants to complete a very stressful task, followed by 30 minutes of gardening. In the end, most participants’ stress hormone levels diminished and their moods were lifted. Pretty cool, right?

5. It improves your mental health

Have you noticed that people who spend their time in the garden are just extremely happy people? Well, gardening gives you a true sense of accomplishment and purpose. In fact, many therapists are now using gardening as a therapy technique to treat their patients’ anxiety and depression. And the results are pretty remarkable!

6. It promotes a healthy lifestyle

According to the Centers for Disease Control, gardening is listed as a form of moderate exercise. Yes, all that digging for potatoes and carrots really burns quite a lot of calories. 330 per hour in fact! Growing your own fruits and vegetables also allows you to eat healthier more often. So, if you’re looking for something to boost your overall health or to help you shed a few pounds, you might want to go invest in some gardening tools and seeds.

Related: Reasons to Take a Mental Health Day

7. It boosts your immune system

Gardening gives you a chance to soak up a whole lot of the sunshine vitamin: vitamin D. And as of 2018, over 42% of Americans are deficient in the vitamin D, which can cause chronic fatigue, mood swings, and depression. But if you garden regularly (while wearing sunscreen, of course) you can soak up enough vitamin D to promote your bone health, which essentially boosts your immunity.

While you’re here, check out our other articles on healthy living. For information on our medical or dental plans, visit selecthealth.org/plans.    

 

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Post Author

Chakell Wardleigh
Chakell has a B.A. in English and is a magazine editor. She enjoys exercising, laughing with family and friends, and online shopping. She strives to be as versatile as cauliflower, which she often turns into pizza.