Gardening boosts health, well-being, research says
By Mark Underwood

Gardening has long been known as a great way to get outdoors and enjoy fresh air and sunshine.

And gardening has hidden benefits that can boost your overall health including better brain health.

You don’t need a big plot of land to enjoy gardening. Use containers on a porch or patio to grow a wide variety of fruits or vegetables. A five-gallon bucket with holes for drainage can be used to grow a great crop of tomatoes.

Even if you aren’t actively involved in gardening, just walking in a garden can give you a sensory experience that promotes relaxation and reduces stress.

Here are several ways gardening boosts your health and well-being.

Low-impact exercise

Gardeners love to get outdoors and work with their hands. Because of that, gardening keeps you exercising even when a gym may not work for you.

Gardening is certainly not the same as pumping iron or running a marathon. But when you are digging, planting, and doing other tasks you have opportunities for low-impact exercise.

Gardeners who do more physical work like hauling wheelbarrows of rocks or dirt get quite a workout.

No matter what level of exercise you do, gardening will help keep you limber.

Stress reduction

When you walk among beautiful flowers and watch vegetables spring up, it’s easy to see why gardening enriches the mind. But have you thought about gardening as a tonic for reducing stress? If not, you should. A recent study in the Netherlands suggests that gardening can fight stress even better than other relaxing leisure activities.

Participants in the study either read indoors or gardened for 30 minutes. Afterward, the group that gardened reported being in a better mood than the reading group, and they also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Most of us push ourselves to the max, but gardening really does make you slow down and literally smell the roses.

Tracking your accomplishments

Gardeners love to keep records. It would be difficult to remember from year to year what plants did well and those that didn’t thrive in specific locations, under what conditions, and especially if you have a large vegetable, fruit and flower garden.

That’s why gardeners love to keep photos of what they planted, before and after shots, and notes about their garden’s progress. Since it would be difficult to remember every detail of last year’s garden

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