Looking out at a gorgeous garden filled with plants and flowers can do wonders for the mind. A garden in full bloom is pleasing to the eyes and the nose. It is even better when you plant those flowers and plants. Perhaps you enjoy growing your own fruits and vegetables? A homegrown tomato can taste drastically better than a store-bought tomato. Gardening boasts many benefits beyond the beauty, taste, and smells of the garden itself. In fact, there are many health benefits. Here are a few health benefits you can achieve from gardening.
Gardening relieves anxiety and stress. A study from the Journal of Health Psychology found that gardening can lower cortisol levels in the brain. Cortisol is considered the “stress hormone.” Your body needs it to function, but too much of it can cause higher blood pressure or fluctuating glucose levels. So go ahead and dig in the dirt and feel relaxed while doing it.
Gardening is good exercise. Your heart rate goes up when you garden. Gardening isn’t as rigorous as a run-around the block, but any physical activity is good for your body. It has been proven that even daily light exercise increases your lifespan. Just be careful you stretch your arms, shoulders, and hands often as you work so you do not end up with tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Improves Immune System
Gardening can improve your immune system. Believe it or not, spending time digging in the dirt can improve immune health. A bacteria found in garden soil called Mycobacterium vaccae is considered a “friendly” bacterium because it helps improve the immune system. The bacteria have even been known to alleviate symptoms of asthma, psoriasis, and allergies.
Lowers Dementia Risk
Gardening could lower the risk of dementia. An article on the website fivestarseniorliving.com mentions a study that found gardening may reduce the risk of dementia by up to 36 percent. Scientists believe it is because gardening requires many critical functions, such as sensory awareness and dexterity. Spending even a short time gardening, you are more likely to maintain motor skills and improve your strength and endurance.
Source of Vitamin D
Gardening provides much-needed vitamin D. We have already mentioned how gardening decreases anxiety, but gardening also improves your mood. The sunshine causes your body to produce vitamin D and raises the serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is a chemical in your body that helps you feel calm and happy. Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat while you garden. The sun does have its benefits, but you need to protect yourself from sunburn and the sun’s harmful UV rays.
With all of these benefits from gardening, you should consider stopping and smelling the roses and maybe even plant a few of your own. If you need help getting to your garden, consider calling us at Next Day Access, and we can install a modular or threshold ramp at your home. Contact us today for a free estimate.