It has long been known that gardening has a positive effect on a person's mental and emotional state.
After all, it is so nice after hard work to look at your well-groomed area and enjoy their result. There is a belief that gardening even prolongs life.
But these are all general words. What are the real health benefits of gardening?
1. Gardening improves the physical state of the body
By regularly "meeting" bacteria during soil cultivation, you train your immune system and regulate your stomach.
Gardening work helps in strengthening the heart muscle and also increases overall body endurance. All of these, in turn, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
When gardening, you use almost every muscle in your body, especially your back, arms, abdominals, glutes, and thighs. Strong, toned muscles improve posture and can protect the body from injury and many future health problems.
-balance and flexibility
Regular gardening work strengthens the muscles in the ankles and feet, which improves balance and flexibility. Agree, in this life, it is very important to stand firmly on your feet. Moreover, both literally and figuratively.
2. Gardening helps to lose weight
And it's not only about physical activity, although it is also about it - the average gardener, even if he is not a professional, spends 300 kcal more per day than a usual city dweller. But still, the main contribution to the fight for a thin waist is made by vitamin D, the production of which occurs under the influence of sunlight. Vitamin D is responsible not only for the strength of bones but it is also involved in many biochemical reactions in the body, including plays an important role in metabolism and affects the functioning of the thyroid gland. Therefore, the lack of sunshine vitamin, which is often found in townspeople, leads to unnecessary weight gain.
3. Gardening, vitamin D, and the ‘happiness hormone’ serotonin
As we already mentioned, working in the garden in direct sunlight promotes the body's production of vitamin D. The importance of vitamin D to physical and mental health and immunity cannot be overemphasized.
Vitamin D, along with high-quality and balanced natural nutrition, physical activity, and good sleep, is essential for the synthesis of serotonin. The neurotransmitter serotonin is called the hormone of happiness or the hormone of pleasure. Serotonin regulates our emotional state, overall sense of satisfaction, and libido.
4. Gardening relieves stress
Physical activity gives gardeners protection from stress. After all, any work in the garden is a kind of anti-stress training. First, the body is mobilized, then it adjusts to physical activity and finally rests. That is, it goes through all the same stages as during stress. Therefore, people who lead an active lifestyle are more adapted to face an unusual situation.
5. Gardening protects from depression
Communication with nature is the best remedy for depression. It is no coincidence that depressive disorders are three times more likely to occur in urban dwellers than in rural dwellers. One of the reasons is the lack of sun, which the inhabitants of megacities face. The fact is that sunlight affects the production of neurotransmitters - special chemicals that the brain and nervous system depend on. If you constantly use artificial lighting and do not go outside much, there is a deficiency of these substances, which often leads to seasonal depression.
6. Gardening protects from myopia
Scientists from Taiwan conducted a study with students. It turned out that in children who regularly spend time outside the city, myopia occurs 8 times less than those who are deprived of outdoor trips. The reason lies not only in the fact that there is less time for children to spend sitting in front of the TV and computer.
The view of the cityscape negatively affects the functioning of the visual system. When you look at the same grey houses, the eye, as they say, has nothing to catch on, so the visual system tirelessly scans objects in search of bright details. That is why the eyes get tired much more in the city than in nature.
7. Gardening strengthens the immune system
Those who spend at least a couple of hours a day outdoors every day are less likely to suffer from colds and recover faster than stay-at-home people. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, air baths are an excellent hardening for the body. Secondly, walking among green spaces, we inhale phytoncides - a kind of natural antibiotics that protect the body from the penetration of viruses and infections. There are especially many phytoncides near coniferous forests.
8. Gardening improves memory
Staying in fresh air improves brain function and memory. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the United States. However, according to experts, it matters where you walk. During the experiment, the volunteers were sent for a walk. Half of the subjects walked around the city, while the rest spent time in nature. Then the subjects were asked to take a test that included tasks for attentiveness, memory, and intellectual tasks. It turned out that those who walked outside the city made, on average, 20% fewer mistakes.
9. Gardening reduces blood pressure
In cities, the oxygen content in the air is much lower than in rural areas. In response to the lack of fresh air, the heart begins to beat faster, because, in order to ensure the supply of oxygen to the tissues of the body, more effort is required. As a result, the pressure begins to jump, shortness of breath appears. The best way to deal with these troubles is to make your own oxygen oasis. It is easier than it appears. You just need to start. Buy some gardening gloves, a good quality hose reel, and a trowel, and you are good to go!
It's amazing what "bonuses" for health give us a few hours of work in the backyard. Who would have thought that gardening is a medicine for the mind, body, and soul! But you just need to understand: there should be a measure in everything. Otherwise, healthy work on the site can turn into a hospital bed.