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Yes, You Should Start a Garden. Here's Why (and How)
Whether you have a green thumb or not, there are many benefits to spending time gardening. From the physical benefits of being outside and getting some exercise, to the mental benefits of spending time with nature, gardening can positively impact your health in many ways. Often, simply being around plants can have a positive effect on your health.
Today, Theresa's Health and Wellness, with the help of Clara Beaufort of Gardengigs.com will explore how gardening can benefit your physical and mental health. We'll also provide some tips on how to start a garden, even if you don't have a lot of space. So let's get started!
The Physical Benefits of Gardening
Gardening is a great way to get some exercise, especially as we age. It can help improve strength, flexibility, and balance. And since it requires us to use a variety of muscles, it can keep us limber and reduce the risk of injuries. Further, gardening is a low-impact activity that’s easy on our joints. Research has shown that gardening can help reduce the risk (and impacts) of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition to the benefits for our muscles and joints, gardening can also help improve our cardiovascular health. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other benefits of aerobic activities like gardening include lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels.
But the benefits of gardening don’t stop there. In fact, gardening can also be a great start to a new business – one that can keep you busy and physically active, while also generating a little side income, as well.
The Mental Benefits of Gardening
In addition to the physical benefits, there are also mental benefits to be gained from gardening. One study found that environmental exposure can help reduce stress and improve moods. This is especially critical for self-employed individuals who struggle to set boundaries and prioritize self-care.
Another study showed that people who spend time in nature have less rumination – a form of repetitive thinking that can lead to depression – and more positive self-reflection. Spending time with plants has also been shown to improve cognitive function and memory recall.
Adopt a Regenerative Living Mindset
Gardening with regenerative living practices is becoming increasingly popular these days. As the practice of regenerative living encourages the use of sustainable and natural, low-impact techniques, it can have a hugely positive impact on gardening results.
By going beyond traditional modes of gardening and taking steps such as introducing beneficial microbes into soil, encouraging biodiversity, composting and using natural pest control methods, we can create beautiful gardens that also help to promote healthy ecosystems. Regenerative living enables us to take care of our gardens in a way that both nourishes and respects nature.
Quick Tips for Starting Your Garden
So now that we've talked about some ways that gardening can benefit your physical and mental health, let's discuss how to start gardening. Even if you don't have a lot of space, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy all the advantages of growing your own plants.
Identify Your Growing Space
Plants thrive when they're placed in locations where they will receive six hours or more sunlight each day. So if you're an apartment dweller without a backyard, a sunny windowsill is a fantastic place to start growing plants. Fire escapes are another excellent option for those without yards; most fire escapes are made of concrete or bricks, which retain heat well, making them ideal for plant growth.
Container gardens are also perfect for small spaces. Pots and planters come in all shapes and sizes, so you're sure to find something that will fit your space perfectly. You might be surprised by how much you can grow in a simple container garden!
If you have a yard, take an inventory of what kind of sun exposure your yard gets throughout the day; this will help you decide where to put your garden.
Plant Your Garden
Once you've chosen where to put your garden, it's time to plant and grow! Consider what type of plants you want to grow. Publications like the Old Farmer’s Almanac can help you decide what and when to plant. Here are some more quick tips to get you started:
Learn everything you can about gardening by taking advantage of online resources like Home Garden Hero where you can find expert advice and tips; click here to learn more.
Keep Track of Improvements
Adding a garden to your home can increase its appraisal value, especially if it's a sizable garden in your backyard, deck, or other outdoor space. Be sure to keep receipts for all the materials and labor involved, and take photos before and after your project to document the progress.
As you can see, there are many reasons gardening is good for your physical and mental health. So if you're looking for a way to improve your health in body and mind, why not give gardening a try? With just a little effort (and maybe a sunny windowsill), you could be reaping all kinds of benefits in no time!
Theresa's Health and Wellness is here to help you live your best life. Reach out today if you have any questions!
Categories nutrition, healthy eating, clean eating, detox, kick the sugar, weightloss