There are benefits to gardening that surpass the fresh air and exercise that one would usually associate with any semi-active outdoors activity. The improvement of mental and physical health are natural benefits of taking care of plants and nurturing them and harvesting the vegetables for the table is now a fact, according to experts.
Professors from the University of Texas and Texas A&M conducted a study of older adults and asked them how they would rate their levels of optimism, overall fortitude and resolution, and their zest for life. The results that gardeners ranked higher in these categories than did people who had no gardening activity proved to be an interesting finding.
Perhaps the activity of gardening could be a better antidote for depression than the profusion of anti-depressive drugs that have erupted on the scene in recent years. The use of these types of drugs has tripled over the past several years.
One obvious benefit of gardening is weight loss and a boost to physical health in general. One physical benefit of gardening is a pleasant surprise. The University of Arkansas conducted a study with 3310 older ladies and found that the ladies that worked in their gardens and performed other forms of working in the yard, did not have as high a rate of osteoporosis as other women who swam, jogged and who were involved with aerobic exercises.
The conclusion here is that many of the gardening activities such pulling weeds, carry heavy loads, digging holes, all act somewhat like weight lifting which is used in the treatment of osteoporosis in order to strengthen bones.
Another wonderful benefit of gardening is the lowering of the risk of diabetes. It is recommended that diabetes can be better managed if a person receives at least 150 minutes a week of exercise, and gardening certainly provides that. Also the fresh vegetables that a garden provides, adds another bonus. Other studies have shown that the incidence of diabetes is less where gardens are a prime backyard activity.
Aspects of mental health are positively influence by gardening. The benefits are so positive that horticultural therapy has become a pronounce field of medicine where people with psychiatric issues can better deal with their problems by participating in gardening activities. As a stress reliever, gardening is an enormous remedy. People who have dementia and anxiety have discovered that gardening calms them considerably and helps them sleep better.
Gardening has become more and more an activity that people have taken up, not just as a means of growing food, but as a hobby and pastime. The stressful lifestyle that many people lead is assuaged to a great degree by time spent planting and tending the patch of dirt in the backyard. Gardening can be physically challenging too, which serves as a good workout. The bending, pulling, and hauling activities that gardening requires really do improve our physical and mental health.
Of course the produce that is grown in our gardens are going to be much better for us nutritionally than anything that we could find at the local grocery store, because nothing is fresher than vegetables that come from out of own garden.