We can try and deny it but the truth of the matter is, we are living in an age that is continuously "plugged in" - cell phones on every hip, Internet at the ready, and tablets for every member of the family. This is becoming the norm. We spend hours upon hours at a desk staring at a computer screen, only to come home and "unwind" in front of the computer. This is leading to the inevitable attention and health fatigue. But don't worry, there is a cure and it as close as your own yard. Studies have shown a correlation between increased green space and decreased anxiety, mood and health disorders. Perhaps your next prescription should include a shovel and a watering can!
Let me guess, you don't consider gardening exercise? Tell that to someone who just spent the afternoon planting or weeding. It may not be a traditional workout, but at an average 300 calories burned in an hour, it is a great alternative to a session at the gym. Gardening requires flexibility, balance and strength. Twisting to reach for a plant and bending to pick up the hose beats jumping jacks and squats any day! An added bonus to this workout is you can adapt it to your fitness level and comfort and after a session, your sweaty gym clothes are replaced with a beautiful garden! Gardening is also an activity that people are more likely to stick to. Skipping the gym with consequence free excuses is easy but it's difficult to let your hard work in the garden slip into weedy neglect. As the gardening season moves along, you will notice increased flexibility and stamina and that's all thanks to your sunflowers and roses (and even the pesky weeds). So what are you waiting for, trade those weights for rakes and get outside!
Gardening spans the ages
The beauty of gardening is that there is no age limit. From two to 92, everyone can garden to their comfort level. Raised garden beds are perfect for someone dealing with decreased mobility or flexibility. Children can be assigned their own special plot they can plan and maintain. A sense of responsibility and pride can grow a child's confidence immeasurably. Gardening can be a solitary escape or a fun family affair.
Stress reduction and health benefits
Gardening can allow you to escape from the stresses of the day. Rather than check another scary news story or plunk yourself in front of the TV, why not get outside and create something to be proud of? The warm sun and cool breeze may be just what the doctor ordered to calm your nerves and clear your mind. Both sunshine and exercise have been known to reduce blood pressure and gardening provides a healthy dose of both! Sunshine is a natural source of vitamin D which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and increases your immune system to name a few. Gardening improves your mood and increases your visual and mental acuity. An afternoon in the garden will help improve your mood during the day and help you get a more restful sleep at night. Another bonus - getting a good night sleep aids in weight loss!
Day upon day, you can see how the health and wellness benefits of gardening will compound to a healthier and happier you - complete with beautiful garden!