Stress relief: physical activity is known to help diminish stress and ripping out weeds can go a long way towards making your problems feel smaller.
Sense of accomplishment & improved self esteem: between making your outdoor space pretty, putting food on the table and cutting your grocery bill gardening can give you a great feeling of accomplishment which boosts mood and self esteem.
Improved sleep quality: of course any physical activity will tire you out and help you to sleep more soundly, but gardening can also reduce stress and anxiety both of which can keep you up at night.
Exercise: for many people it's easier to exercise when they see a reward. Gardening provides both the reward and the exercise. This study shows that gardening can cut the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 30%!
Vitamin D: the sun provides vitamin D and as long as you apply sunscreen so you don't get burned, soaking up the sun is good for you.
Improved nutrition: food grown in your own backyard is the freshest food you can eat! Bonus points if you manage to grow it without pesticides.
Less picky kids: kids that help grow foods are more likely to eat them, especially if you let them pick something cool and different to grow like cucamelons!
Boost immunity: exposure to the soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae which is common in garden soil may bolster your immune system. According to this study it may even act as a natural antidepressant! This is one of the 'good guys' in the bacteria world and is absorbed through inhalation or even ingestion of garden produce (yes, even if you wash it!)
Earthing: have you ever heard of earthing? It's the practice of coming in contact with the earth through walking barefoot, getting your hands in the dirt or even just laying on the grass. From this article by Dr Mercola:
Your immune system functions optimally when your body has an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth....
...Living in direct contact with the earth grounds your body, inducing favorable physiological and electrophysiological changes that promote optimum health.
Ever notice how you feel relaxed when sitting in the sand at the beach, or when sitting on the grass watching the kids play? According to earthing studies, it's the contact with the earth that relaxes you. Interesting, right?
With all these benefits of gardening, it's no wonder I feel so much better in summer when my garden is in full swing!
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