|Friday Five: Health Benefits of Gardening|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Friday, 19 October 2012|
Not only does gardening provide a source of food, it also provides numerous physical and mental health benefits.
1. Burning Calories
To the non-gardener or hard-core athlete, gardening may seem like a sedentary activity--but it's not. Carting mulch around in a wheelbarrow, digging in the soil, and all that bending and lifting involved in planting really do burn calories. Studies show that depending on the activity, gardening can burn between 250 and 500 calories per hour.
2. Reducing Stress Levels
For many people gardening is a creative outlet, for others it's the change of scenery from the daily grind that makes a difference. Still others find that the satisfaction of reaping the rewards (those tasty fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers) of your efforts is what helps to reduce stress levels.
3. Gardening Keeps You Limber
All that bending, lifting, kneeling, twisting, and reaching up--to prune those branches for instance--go a long way toward maintaining flexibility as well as strength.
4. Gardening Provides a Regular Source of Exercise
If you enjoy an activity then you're more likely to do it, and no doubt about it--gardeners love to garden. Even if you're only a weekend gardener, you're still getting out there on a regular basis.
5. Connecting with Nature and Community
There's nothing more peaceful or relaxing than listening to the birds chirping on a late summer afternoon or watching a butterfly flutter around your flowers in the early morning sunlight. Both gardening and working around the yard are also great ways to connect with your neighbors across the fence.