5 Important Benefits of Gardening Towards a Healthy Well-Being

It is not a secret that gardening has a lot of benefits. It does not only provide nutritious food on the table but it also allows you to have an improved your well-being. This is why more and more people are picking up their gardening tools to plant different kinds of herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers. However, knowledge and patience are just a few among the many elements needed for successful gardening. Most gardeners say that gardening is not an easy task but the fruits are definitely worth all the hard work. Here are some of the many benefits of home gardening.
1. Improve physical health. Gardening is a good form of exercise. Raking, digging, hoeing and carrying garden supplies can be good alternatives for expensive gym workouts or equipment. In a research conducted by the American Council on Exercise, activities related to gardening are proven to build muscles and effectively burn around 300 calories in the human body in an hour. Like almost all exercise routines, gardening also has certain cardiovascular benefits even when done at least 30 minutes a day. It can also lower insulin resistance which could result to metabolic syndrome or diabetes.
Being physically fit affects mental alertness and improves mental abilities. Experts suggest that a good exercise helps in the development of nerve cells in some parts of the brain where learning and memory retention are involved. It also boosts other mental skills such as scheduling, planning and multi-tasking.
2. Heal the mind. There is such a thing called as a "healing garden" which is said to work wonders on special children, Alzheimer's patients and stroke victims. Being one with nature and taking comfort with the familiar sounds, sights, smell and texture of a beautiful garden stimulates a patient's sensory organs in non-conventional ways. In a study done by Roger Ulrich, a professor at Texas A&M University, natural scenes improves stress recovery by stirring up positive feelings or emotions and blocking stressful and negative thoughts.
Gardening helps ease depression, anxiety and stress. Ulrich's research also states that by looking at nature, a person may incur a change in the electrical activity of his brain, respiration, muscle tension and alter emotional states. Thus, stopping and smelling the roses can actually help you have peace of mind and free yourself from stress.
3. Boost nutritional intake. It is most likely that gardeners will eat their vegetables than non-gardeners. Fruits and vegetables are rich with nutrients that the body needs to have a strong immune system. It is also an abundant source of antioxidants which keep the brain healthy and lessen the damages caused by aging. Dark colored veggies such as broccoli, beets, red, eggplant, bell pepper and spinach have high levels of antioxidants.
4. Self expression. Gardening is also considered as a form of art which can be used as an effective means of expressing yourself. Being able to express yourself improves your wellbeing. A garden can be used as an extension of your personality and thus, tells so much about you.
5. Develop good traits. Gardening helps you develop some valuable traits such as maturity and care for other living things. Furthermore, as you nurture your plants, you grow more attached to nature and develop a sense of responsibility to take care and preserve the environment. These traits can also be passed to your children as they see how much you value your garden and the importance of growing plants in your own backyard.
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