A popular hobby worldwide, gardening has become more popular with the recent pandemic and the social status associated with being close to nature. Gardening is one of the most scientifically-proven beneficiary activities that improve your physical and mental health.
The plants around us, whether a small desk planter, indoor terrace garden, outdoor garden, or walking in a park, have surprising health benefits. Although you may get dirt on your hands while planting the saplings or small plants in your garden, you feel a sense of achievement and immediately feel great joy in your heart and mind.
Planting a vegetable garden or potted plants in the kitchen is an enjoyable hobby that benefits the surrounding environment and provides organic vegetables and beautiful blooms. Let us understand how can flora can improve our health.
Health benefits of growing plants
Gardening not just makes our house look good it can also do wonders for your health and well-being, such as:
- Good physical exercise
While gardening or raising plants in pots, you perform various movements of arms, upper back, and legs, which come under modern-intensity aerobics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can burn up to 300 calories by doing one hour of gardening and yard work, which is more than brisk walking at the same time.
According to the American Journal of Public health published in 2013, people who participated in a community gardening program had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than the neighbors who had not participated in the activity. So, you can develop a habit of gardening to lose extra pounds.
- Relieves stress
According to a meta-analysis performed in 2017, gardening or yard work may help reduce both physical and psychological stress and anxiety. Learning a new hobby helps cope with stress and improve mental health. The fresh air and practicing gardening reduce the cortisol hormone (stress hormone) and promote the release of endorphins (happy hormones).
- Boost brain health
Studies have proven the therapeutic benefits of horticulture, demonstrating positive outcomes for adults with dementia or who have a high risk for Alzheimer’s. Therefore, if you or your loved ones have symptoms of mental illness, you can try indoor or outdoor gardening, as it can sharpen your brain while focusing on minor details.
- Lowers blood pressure levels
Most doctors suggest 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity can lower blood pressure levels and improve heart health. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 30-45 minutes of gardening or yard work has similar effects.
- Speeds up your recovery
According to a study conducted in 2002, people recovering from various surgeries or diseases who view greenery during their recovery period need less pain-relieving medications and shorter hospital stays than people who did not see.
Therefore, natural greenery is crucial for better recovery while you are ill or recuperating from surgery.
- Improves bone health
When you do outdoor activities, such as yard work or gardening, you get exposed to the sun, which is good for bone health. Your body produces vitamin D during sun exposure, which helps absorb calcium. Calcium improves bone health and lowers the risk of various cancers.
If you are planning to spend more than a few minutes in the sun, wear sunscreen to prevent sun damage or decrease the risk of skin cancer.
- Improves attention and concentration
It is a scientifically proven fact that taking time to garden can improve mental health, including focus and concentration. You can feel better within minutes of working in the garden. You can see improvement in the concentration levels within a few days of gardening as you notice and work on the details.
- Helps build relations
Gardening or yard work with others at a community garden or with kids and family can increase your social and family relationships. It can change your outlook on life goals and boost your mood.
- Improves indoor air quality
According to NASA research done in 1989, plants improve air quality and can remove cancer-causing compounds from the air, including benzene and formaldehyde. Later researchers also found that the soil microorganism in potted plants also contributes to air purifying.
Growing plants improve your mood, relieve stress, and helps you be physically active. So, roll up your sleeves and start planting and caring for your plants or little garden.