Why Gardens Are Good For Your Health

If the idea of heading outdoors and getting closer to nature fills you with dread, you might be doing yourself a disservice. While you might have heard about the benefits of gardening for the environment, there are actually a variety of health benefits to your physical and mental health. If you weren’t already convinced you needed to reconnect with the outdoors by starting a garden, let this list of reasons why gardens are great for your health be a gentle encouragement.

Gardens provide you with exercise that’s actually fun

In an era plagued by inertness, getting outdoors to exercise is becoming increasingly important. Fortunately, gardening is a great way to work out different parts of your body while having fun. Gardening requires movement from all the major muscle groups, such as the arms, legs, back, stomach and shoulders. According to the National Health Institute, getting your knees dirty in the garden for about 30 minutes a day is considered a moderate-intensity activity that’s key in weight management.

It’s so good for you, doctors are prescribing it for depression

According to a recent paper, doctors in the UK have been given the go-ahead to start prescribing gardening to patients suffering from depression. Instead of being given drug therapy, which could be costly with brutal side effects, patients now have the ability to take up spades. The reasoning for trying out new methods to fight depression stem from gardening’s ability to provide exercise and a hobby to keep people focused.

Although it wasn’t mentioned in the paper, gardening has another weapon to fight depression: the sun. Being exposed to sunlight for portions throughout the day increases serotonin levels, which in turn makes people happier.

Reconnects you with nature

Due to an increase in technology and workload, that sensation of being at one with nature is fleeting. Having an accessible garden encourages people to get outside more and observe the nuances of nature. Fewer people are able to identify different rose species or tell the difference between native and non-native plants. Allow yourself to feel the earth in your hand, the sun on your face and the wind in your hair.

Just being around a garden is beneficial to your health

Have you ever wondered why hospitals usually have amazingly beautiful gardens full of colorful flowers? Studies have shown that simply looking at a garden has therapeutic and healthful benefits. Enjoying scenery filled with greenery reduces stress and blood pressure levels while improving the overall mood.

So, if you look out to your backyard and see a desolate wasteland of weeds and dirt, it’s time to put in a garden. It’s not just for the environment, it’s for your health.