[Wellness Wednesday] 8 Ways Gardening Can Help Improve Wellness https://reclaiminghope.blog

8 Ways Gardening Can Help Improve Wellness

Spring is upon us here in the US, and many of us are planning and preparing our gardens. This time of year I just can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt and start planting.

So what does gardening have to do with Wellness? You might be surprised….

Growing your own food has many benefits, not just for your physical dimension of wellness, but other dimensions as well. Getting outside and planting, growing, and harvesting your own food is not only rewarding, it can help improve your overall wellness.

8 Ways Gardening Can Help Improve Wellness

  • You control the quality of your food. One of the biggest benefits of growing your own food it that you control its quality. For example, I choose to grow organically, which means I don’t ever have to worry about getting a helping of pesticides with my nice, healthy veggies. Also, because you prepare your soil, you have the opportunity to make sure it has the nutrients it needs to produce nutritious, delicious food.
  • Gardening is a great way to get some exercise. When gardening, we use all the major muscle groups, train functional movement patterns, and even get our hearts pumping, which can increase our cardiovascular fitness.
  • It can help boost Vitamin D levels. Our bodies use sunlight to make Vitamin D, and working in the garden can help us get a little exposure to sunlight. Of course, you shouldn’t spend more than about 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen, so make sure you protect your skin if you’re going to be out there for a while.
  • Gardening can help reduce stress and lift your mood. Studies have shown that both exercise and being outdoors help improve mood. With gardening, you get both!
  • It can help reduce dementia risk. According to AARP, “a 2006 study found that gardening could lower risk of dementia by 36 percent. Researchers tracked more than 2,800 people over the age of 60 for 16 years and concluded that physical activity, particularly gardening, could reduce the incidence of dementia in future years.”
  • Growing your own fruits and vegetables can encourage you to eat more of them. Who doesn’t need to eat more fruits and veggies? Growing our own can make it easier to just grab some out of the garden.
  • It can encourage you to get creative. If you’ve ever grown zucchini, you know they’re prolific producers. Around here, so many people have extras we can’t even give them away! It can be the same with other veggies, and even if you do  share with the neighbors, you may have to get creative with new ways to cook them.
  • Growing your own food can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It’s such a great feeling when you see those first few spears of asparagus or leaves of lettuce popping up through the soil, and there’s just nothing quite like eating food that you’ve grown yourself.

Many people think that gardening has to be a huge undertaking, but really, you can grow your own food pretty much anywhere you get sunlight for a good part of the day.

In fact, for people who don’t have a large yard or the time to deal with a large garden, container gardening is becoming more and more popular. All you need to get started are some containers and some good-quality soil.

Whether your garden is large, small, or somewhere in between, the benefits to your wellness make growing some of your own food worth the effort.

Are you a gardener? What benefits have you experienced from growing your own food? Please share!

Blessings,

~Terri

 

 

 

 

 

31 comments

  1. these are such great reasons to garden! i think i will make sure to have at least a small one this summer. bless you Terri………I always learn something from you! So glad you are here on WP! πŸ™‚

    1. Awww….thank you so much Wendi! You always say the nicest things! Please let me know how it goes with your garden. Starting small is a great way to go. That way, you keep it manageable if you have those periods where you need to take it easier. Hugs!

    1. I hope you’ll be able to do some gardening if you choose, V.J.. My garden is fairly small by design….I don’t want it to be overwhelming; that would take all the fun out of it. I always tell people just pick a few things you really like to eat to begin with. You can always add more if you feel up to it. I hope you’re beginning to feel a little more energetic now that you’re home. Sending hugs!

      1. Thanks for remembering V.J.. Maybe I should add a link in the post in case others might be interested…. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Hi Terri my name is Geri. Thanks for your information about growing a garden. I started my garden today, 4-24–19. I feel great πŸ‘ because I am exercising, saving money and growing my own organic garden.
    Thanks, Geri

    1. How exciting that you’ve actually started your garden Geri! Please let me know how it goes. I haven’t planted mine yet, as we’re not quite past the last frost date, but I’ll probably sow some lettuce and spinach today. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Blessings to you!

  3. I must admit I’m not one for much gardening, but my dad enjoys it, even though it’s a struggle since developing RA. We do grow some veggies and occasional fruits; I did do strawberries as I could use a planter for that which made it easier, and my dad does tomatoes most years. You’ve listed such fascinating, varied benefits, and it just shows have wonderful it can be to get outdoors & be around nature. xx

    1. You know what’s funny Caz? When I was a kid, we had a garden and I HATED working in it. As a young adult, I had no interest at all in gardening, but about 10 years ago, my uncle gave me a tomato plant. I took it home and planted it, and that was the beginning of my love affair with gardening. Did your strawberries do well in the planter? I’ve been thinking about trying to grow some, because I love strawberries, and they’re one of the EWG’s “dirty dozen”. We have a hard time finding organic ones around here except for a very short window, so it would be great to grow my own. I was thinking of using a planter so I don’t take up too much of my beds with strawberry plants. Sending hugs your way!

  4. I have to use a low chair to prune a few roses as I can’t crouch down without muscles burning with pain. I am delighted to plant some pansies and geraniums though for summer colour and now our daughter has planted some seedlings so I’ll lend a hand! Xx

    1. That’s a great idea to use your low chair Marie! I have a small stool that I use when weeding or doing other things in the garden that require me to be bent over for extended periods. Like you, I can’t crouch down for very long. Don’t you just love pansies and geraniums? They’re so colorful and cheerful looking they can brighten your mood just by looking at them. 😊 What kind of seedlings did your daughter plant? I hope they do well for her. Hugs!

    1. Thanks for sharing Melinda! Our daffodils and tulips have been beautiful this year. I’m sure you guys are way ahead of us with your growing season. It’s always nice to get out in the sunshine after you’ve had a few days of rain, isn’t it? Happy planting!

  5. I love using home grown herbs, fruit & vegetables. At the moment we have lemons ripening, strawberries for picking, lemon grass for tea & basil for seasoning. Our tomatoes are now finished & our nectarine & peach trees are now asleep.
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    1. That sounds wonderful Jennifer! We don’t have fruit trees (yet) but plan to plant some once we figure out where to put them. 😁 The only thing we have up so far is asparagus and some lettuce that came back from last year. Our blueberry bushes have lots of blooms though.😊 Blessings to you!

      1. We learned from my son’s experience with the birds…. When we planted the blueberry bushes, my husband built a frame for the box and we put netting around it. Those sneaky little critters can’t get in there and eat our berries.😁

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this Jacqui! Getting some sun this way is definitely much more fun than just sitting in the sun. I stick to the morning hours though, and wear my sunscreen if I’m going to be out there for a while. We have to balance getting our vitamin D with protecting ourselves from skin cancer. Wishing you and your daughter all the best!

  6. For those of us w no yard or patio, gardening indoors is an option. It’s easy to grow salad greens indoors as well as some green beans and even zucchini! Hanging basket planters by the window with a light will allow you to grow foods indoors. Don’t forget that mushrooms can be grown indoors, too. Do a Google search on all the veggies you can grow indoors. I’ve done it and it’s awesome!

    1. Thanks so much for some fabulous tips Faith! I’ve grown herbs indoors, but that’s about it. I may have to give it a try this winter – it would be great to have fresh lettuce all year ’round. Thanks again for sharing. Blessings to you!

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