It’s no secret that gardening is a great way to spend your free time. But what you may not know is that it’s also good health! Gardening offers a number of benefits to mental and physical health. People who garden regularly have been found to enjoy better sleep, decreased depression, and reduced stress levels. Learn more about the rest of the benefits of gardening in this article!
A growing body of research suggests that spending time in nature has powerful effects on mental health, particularly when it comes to boosting creativity. Some studies suggest that exposure to nature reduces mental fatigue and makes us more alert, leading to improved creative thinking. Being in nature rejuvenates your mind, leading to more creative thoughts. A study found that people who had gardens scored higher on tests measuring creativity than those who didn’t garden. The researchers suggested that gardening might provide a mental escape or an opportunity for inspiration—two critical components of creativity.
Helps Decrease Depression Symptoms
Depression can be a debilitating illness, and unfortunately, many people don’t know how to treat their symptoms successfully. While therapy and certain medications can be helpful, research suggests that gardening is an effective way to combat depression. In a study conducted in the United Kingdom, depressed volunteers received supervised group counseling sessions or individualized therapy sessions with a therapist over 16 weeks. The participants who engaged in counseling activities like gardening were much less likely to relapse into depression than those who only received standard treatment. Researchers suggest that spending time outside in nature might boost well-being and provide some therapeutic benefits for mental health issues.
Improves Sleep Quality
Getting enough sleep is very important for maintaining good health; during sleep, the body regenerates and repairs itself, bolstering the immune system. Studies suggest that natural environments promote better sleep by reducing stress and anxiety. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School discovered that participants who spent time in green spaces had improved quality of life and decreased insomnia symptoms, leading to better sleep. The researchers attributed these improvements to the stress-reducing and pain-relieving properties of natural environments.
Helps Prevent Cancer And Other Diseases
It’s not a secret that spending time outdoors has physical health benefits—after all, going outside encourages exercise without any effort on yours! A growing body of research suggests that gardening can also help ward off some common diseases. For example, studies suggest that green spaces throughout urban areas can help reduce air pollution and protect residents from airborne pollutants. Researchers found that children who had gardens outside their homes were less likely to develop asthma than those who didn’t have a garden. The researchers theorized that having a garden might lessen exposure to airborne allergens and decrease the risk for childhood asthma. Some studies show that spending time in nature may improve mental health and promote healthy behaviors like exercise and eating nutritious food. So the next time you’re looking for something fun to do, consider pulling up your winter boots and heading outside to your nearest park!
Encourages Physical Activity
Going to the gym is a way of life for some people—a weekly activity they can’t miss. But for others, exercising might be more of a challenge. Gardening can provide you with all of the benefits of regular exercise without the need to visit the gym! First and foremost, gardening requires physical movement. Sitting or standing still while planting or weeding will not get your heart rate up at all, but working hard digging up the dirt and hauling bags of soil certainly will! To burn calories and lose weight, you’ll want to aim for about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day. And fortunately, that’s what you’ll get from gardening—you don’t even have to set aside time in your schedule before heading outdoors; you can do it in your spare time. Gardening is a beautiful way to stay active, and since you’ll be outside, you’ll also get the mental health benefits that come with being in nature!
Helps Protect Your Memory
It’s no secret that staying active and exercising the body is good for your brain; you’ve probably already heard of the link between physical activity and mental health. But did you know that gardening can help protect your memory as you age? Researchers found that older adults who made a habit out of planting and maintaining their gardens were less likely to develop dementia than those who didn’t care for plants. Engaging in activities like gardening just four times per week can reduce the risk of developing dementia by up to 33% for both men and women.
It is all too easy to neglect our mental health in today’s world. We live busy lives and spend a great deal of time indoors—and that doesn’t do much good for how we feel! Fortunately, research has shown that spending time in nature can profoundly affect your mood. Setting aside some time each week to work outdoors is the perfect way to reduce stress and stay healthy! Gardening provides many physical and mental benefits that everyone should be aware of. In addition to helping you lose weight and fight depression, gardening encourages better sleep habits as well as increased creativity.