Exercise and nutrition are essential components of a healthy lifestyle, but did you know gardening can provide both? In honor of Earth Day on April 22, here are three top benefits gardening can provide your mind and body.
Staying Fit and Healthy
You can burn about the same amount of calories during 30 minutes of gardening as you can performing moderate calisthenics, mowing the lawn or going for a brisk walk. Because gardening is low impact, it can be a great exercise option for children, the elderly and those with mobility issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control, physical activities like gardening can also lower the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, obesity, depression and diabetes.
Building Community and Helping the Planet
Community centers and schools use gardens to educate and promote the value of growing food and incorporating fresh produce into your diet. They also teach both children and adults about the importance of plants and the natural cycle of life. Eating locally grown produce from a community garden or your own backyard can also help decrease your carbon footprint.
Boosting Your Mood
Some studies have shown that gardening can reduce cortisol levels, promoting a sense of relief from stress and leading to an improved mood. Researchers at the University of Bristol also discovered that a certain bacteria found in soil might contribute to higher levels of serotonin, the mood-boosting neurotransmitter.
Looking for a fun way to improve your health and increase movement? Spend some downtime tackling yard work and tending to a garden.