Gardening Is Seriously Good For You
It’s National Women’s Health Week. With the week serving as a reminder for women and girls to prioritize their health and build healthy life habits, we thought it a perfect time to highlight the positive effects gardening can have on your health.
Did you know that:
- A meta-analysis of 22 research studies concluded that gardening positively impacts health in several ways: gardening increases life satisfaction, sense of community, cognitive function and vigor. It also reduces stress, fatigue, and depression.
- A Swedish study conducted over a period of 12 years concluded that people over 60 who garden or regularly engage in home improvement activities have a 27% lower risk of a heart attack or stroke.
- A US study concluded that light-intensity physical activity, such as gardening, can help postmenopausal women maintain mobility (and therefore maintain their independence).
A 2018 article in the Royal College of Physicians’ journal, Clinical Medicine, expands on these themes. The article states that several factors contribute to gardening’s beneficial impact on health. The article notes that gardening “combines physical activity with social interaction and exposure to nature and sunlight. Sunlight lowers blood pressure as well as increasing vitamin D levels in the summer, and the fruit and vegetables that are produced have a positive impact on the diet. Working in the garden restores dexterity and strength, and the aerobic exercise that is involved can easily use the same number of calories as might be expended in a gym.”
With such abundant evidence indicating that gardening provides important health benefits, we encourage everyone to get outside and dig in to gardening. Whether it’s on your balcony using flowerpots, in a community plot using raised beds, or your very own backyard, it’s time to get gardening. Don’t know how? Stop by and we’ll be happy to help you get started.
Oh, and one more thing: while gardening has important, positive effects on health, it is not a replacement for routine health screening or visits with your health professionals. Diseases are most easily treated when they are found early. Healthy choices including eating well-balanced meals, practicing good sleep habits, and staying active. We know it’s not always easy. But please take care of your health. We want to see you around for a very long time!