Gardening is a popular stress relieving activity many nature lovers do to have a healthy body and mindset. But how does gardening help your brain and body?
By gardening, you’re lowering your stress levels and increasing your cognitive functions. It also reduces anxiety and depression. The best benefit from gardening is that studies show it reduces the risk for Alzheimer’s. Gardening is a perfect choice to keep both your brain and body healthy.
The rest of this article will cover the mental benefits of gardening, physical benefits of gardening, other activities like it, and how to start gardening.
How Gardening Improves Your Mental Health
Relieving stress is a positive thing for your brain. Not only does it reduce stress, but it reduces anxiety and depression as well. With mental health issues skyrocketing since the pandemic, gardening is a perfect and cheap way to improve mental health.
Growing plants brings you a sense of accomplishment. For your brain, this means that you’re getting a boost in self-esteem. Your brain releases serotonin, the chemical that improves your mood and positively impacts your sleep patterns, from doing these activities.
Perhaps the most amazing benefit of mental health is that it reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s developing later in life. This is because keeping your body and mind healthy reduces risks of mental diseases. Gardening can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 50 percent.
Lastly, a great benefit of gardening is that it improves your motivation. The self-esteem boosts and lowered rates of stress, anxiety, and depression allows you to maintain a higher attention span and productivity rate throughout the day. This boosts your motivation to get things done.
How Gardening Improves Your Physical Health
Physically, your health improves from gardening since it keeps you active. Although gardening is not a demanding activity from a physical standpoint, keeping yourself active throughout the day burns more calories and keeps you healthier. It also reduces your risk for illnesses.
As for direct benefits you gain from gardening, your body builds more flexibility. Gardening takes a lot of bending, watering, fixing soil, checking on plants, etc. These activities increase your flexibility. By increasing your flexibility, you’re lowering your risk of physical injuries.
Another benefit is that it improves your overall strength. With improved strength and flexibility, your body is much healthier. These two benefits lead to another benefit: heightened endurance. The three main physical benefits you get are improved strength, flexibility, and endurance.
For your mental health, gardening reduces Alzheimer’s. And physically, gardening reduces your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. These benefits make it a great idea to start gardening. Or, you can try other stress relieving activities.
Stress Relieving Activities Like Gardening
If you aren’t a nature lover, but still want the positive benefits gardening brings, there are other activities you can try that are good for your mental and physical health. The best one you can try is meditation. It’s simple, and best of all, it’s completely free and runs on your schedule.
You can meditate whenever you want, and meditation brings amazing mental health benefits. Not only does it boost your self-esteem like gardening does, but it also increases your focus and concentration. This means you’ll be more productive with your daily tasks.
If you’re looking for something more physical, dancing is a great way to burn calories, and the benefits are almost identical to gardening. You’ll gain more strength, flexibility, and endurance along with relieving stress and feeling accomplished when completing a routine.
If you’re looking for something not physical at all, you can look at your phone. Download puzzle games on your phone and play those for increased concentration, improving your problem-solving skills, reducing stress and anxiety, and boosting your self-esteem.
There are many different activities you can try that reduce stress. Some other activities you can try are the following: baking, painting, knitting, taking a warm bath, quick exercises like walking, journaling, and doing yoga. All of these are easy and cheap, and you can do them at your own pace.
How To Start Gardening
The first step is choosing the location. You should choose somewhere you can monitor easily enough, like your front or back yard, or a large window you can put many pots on. The best spot would be outdoors in your front or back yard.
Make sure to follow the sun and stay close to a water source. It’ll be easier for both you and your plants if you have easy access to water and sunlight. Get good soil to plant them in, soil that’s nutrient-rich and will supply your plants with all they need.
The most important step is choosing the right plants. If you’re setting up in a warm environment, choose plants more adapted to heat. If you’re setting up in a cold environment, the same applies there. Choose your plants according to your environment.
After you’ve done all those steps, get pots and tools as needed to set up the rest of your garden. At that point, you’ll be all ready to garden! Make sure to write down a proper watering schedule and research the plants you’re buying to know what extra care they may need.
Gardening is a very beneficial activity for both the brain and body. Mentally, gardening improves concentration and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. Physically, gardening improves strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Some of the best activities you can try that are stress relieving and benefit your health are meditation, dancing, and puzzle games on your phone. Baking, painting, knitting, taking a warm bath, quick exercises like walking, journaling, and doing yoga are also good for your health.
To start gardening, choose a location. That’s the most important step. From there, you can research the plants you’d like to buy, get soil, buy tools, and buy pots that will house your plants. After making a watering schedule, you’re all ready to garden!