Have You Discovered the Health Benefits of Gardening?
Sep 1st, 2011 | By Rhonda Daniels | Category: Gardening, Wellness
Gardeners know all about the health benefits of tending their gardens.
Besides connecting with nature and tending their plants they may also do a lot of bending and stretching.
Amie Jo Sommerfeld Lillard, a grad student researcher at Texas AMU did a study several years ago for her thesis. Her research centered on gardeners over the age of 50 and their perceived quality of life. Not surprisingly the gardeners seemed to be a happier bunch of people than their non gardening counterparts.
Additionally the gardeners had more zest for life and felt they were healthier because of their gardening. This may be attributed to all that bending and stretching, or possibly the fact that they were growing and eating their own vegetables, fruits and herbs. Either way, they felt better about life.
Gardening can improve you as you get older!
Gardening can help keep you fit. Active gardening involving activities such as lifting, pruning, or raking will burn calories, build muscle and can improve cardio function. Hand strength may improve when using clippers or pruners, and even moderate gardening can provide many health benefits.
Gardening can add beauty to your life. Growing your own herbs and flowers for cutting allows you to bring a little of the outdoors in. You can get creative making your own arrangements and cooking with your fresh herbs.
Gardening can improve your diet. Gardeners are more likely to eat their own home grown produce- and fresh just tastes better!
Gardening can help you chill out. Getting out and taking care of your garden takes you away from daily pressures. Losing yourself while tending your plants allows you to unwind.
Gardening helps brain function. Keeping track of plantings, planning your garden, paying attention to chores like watering and weeding, and learning about your plants can all keep your mind limber.
In the Journal of the New York State Nurses Association, Mary Infantino, PhD. mentions researchers found that gardeners were shown to have a 50% lower chance of developing dementia. She also found in her own study that the women gardeners she interviewed all displayed characteristics of successful and healthy aging through their gardening experiences. These characteristics include resiliency, hardiness, adaptability, creativity, self transcendence, and a positive outlook on life. Now who wouldn’t want all that?
If you aren’t gardening yet, why wait? Break out the potting soil and seeds!
Rhonda Daniels is a retired herb nursery grower and organic Master Gardener. She and her husband along with four out of six of their kids live on a small farm and raise goats, poultry, horses and Angora rabbits. They have the usual farm dogs and cats and in addition to the herbs, they grow all kinds of other great stuff. They also grow herbs and plants for classes, workshops and friends, and grow herbs indoors and out for use in the kitchen and still-room. They use their herbs for teas, cooking, medicine making and crafting… which includes using herbs in handmade goat milk soaps! You can find them at their website at: http://www.growingherbsforbeginners.com/.