Did you know that gardening is a great way to relax and enjoy nature? It also offers many health benefits. It’s a great activity for the body and mind, and people of any age can enjoy it. You can also eat all the tasty fruits, vegetables, and herbs you have grown. Grab your tools and start digging!
Just a few minutes of gardening can make you sweat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just 2.5 hours per week of moderate exercise can reduce the risk for many health issues, such as heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Raychel Santo is the senior research coordinator for the Center for a Livable Future, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The brain can also benefit from spending time in the garden. It is a good way to improve your mood and reduce stress by being outside in the sunshine and fresh air. Gardening has been shown to reduce the risk of depression. You can focus on gardening if you are struggling with a difficult issue.
Remember the health benefits of the food you grow. You can easily add more fruits and vegetables to your diet by gardening.
It can be difficult to decide what to plant. If you are new to gardening, start with easy-to-grow produce. Santo suggests herbs and greens like lettuce, kale, and collards.
Santo says that these are easy to grow and are full of nutrients.
Photo by Michaeljung courtesy iStockphotoIt is a great way to discover new, healthy foods and encourage your family to be more adventurous. Growing different types of fruits and vegetables is both fun and healthy. Do not get discouraged when you do not get it right on the first try. It takes patience to garden, but the reward is worth it.
Be sure to have the right tools and equipment for a safe garden experience. Santo suggests wearing a light shirt and pants with long sleeves and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. He also recommends applying sunscreen. Wearing gardening gloves will keep your hands safe while pulling weeds or performing other tasks. Don’t forget mosquito repellent.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that gardeners take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. This is exercise. This organization suggests that you make the gardening activity as easy as possible. Sitting on a stool or getting as close as possible to the object you wish to lift will reduce strain. Wheelbarrows are useful for this type of work. If you are unsure of how to use certain tools or something is too heavy or large for you to lift, ask someone else for assistance.
Another thing to consider is soil safety. Santo says that soil, especially in urban areas and suburbs, may be contaminated by heavy metals or other pollutants. The soil could contain tetanus, which is another reason why wearing gloves and staying up to date with vaccinations are so important. So, you can prevent any cuts from becoming infected. You should test your soil before you begin gardening.
Planting with children
When you include children in the process, gardening becomes more fun. While they may focus on the fun aspects of gardening, they are actually learning valuable lessons that relate to their health.
Santo, The Nation’s Health. “They’ll be able to see the connection between science, environment and healthy food.”
Watch over the children as they explore your garden. Give them a way to be involved and reap the benefits themselves. Santo suggests growing a “pizza” garden with ingredients that are easy to grow for a tasty savory pie. These include tomatoes, eggplant, and herbs.