You probably already know that gardening is a great way to reduce stress. However, you may not actually know why gardening is a great way to keep your stress levels down. Here are five reasons why gardening is good for your health, and how you can start growing your green thumb.
It Provides You With Exercise
It may not be strenuous exercise, but gardening is definitely a calorie burner. You may think gardening just means sitting in a squat with a shovel, but if you think about it, gardening takes a lot of movement. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, shoveling dirt, or squatting from spot to spot, you’re constantly in a state of movement, which can help you burn up to 330 calories an hour.
It Improves Your Mental Health
Studies have shown that gardening can lower your stress levels, as the hormone cortisol (the stress hormone) is reduced once in the garden. Cool, huh?
Physical Brain Health
More studies have shown that gardening can reduce your risk of getting dementia and Alzheimer’s. Research suggests that those who garden regularly are 30-50% less likely to develop dementia.
Not only is gardening good for your physical health, if you plant and grow fruit and veggies, but your nutrition levels will also improve dramatically. You can grow your own food and know exactly where it came from and what’s in it. No nasty pesticides or harsh chemicals found, just goodness.
You Can Sleep Better
Gardening helps reduce stress levels, which can also decrease your levels of anxiety. With this in mind, you’ll often find that you fall asleep faster and have better quality of snooze time.
How To Get Started On Your Garden
So, now you know all those benefits, what are you waiting for? No matter the size of your backyard, or your balcony, you can get yourself into gardening. Here are some tips to help you get the best garden:
- Pick a place
Gardens can only really flourish with sunlight, and almost all vegetables and flowers need on average six hours of sunlight in order to flourish. You should make sure you can see your garden, so you don’t lose track of it or neglect it.
- Keep things organised
Whether you’re a neat freak or a messy person to the core, keeping your garden organised will ensure a productive space. When you’re not using your garden tools, keep them nicely put away in a storage shed. They don’t have to be too large, just big enough to keep everything stored away. This is also so you don’t trip over a shovel in the middle of the night. Ouch. The same goes for your hose. There’s nothing worse than a tangled garden hose, or a kinked hose. Keep your hose stored away nicely, avoiding kinks and late-night tripping sessions by installing a retractable hose reel. They’re even able to attach to the wall, so you can keep the whole system out of your way.
- Choose plants that attract beneficial insects
Many plants can attract those bad bugs, such as aphids and slugs. We don’t like those. Instead, planting single petal flowers, herbs, perennials and alyssum can attract bees, ladybugs, lacewings and ground beetles. These insects are beneficial to your garden, and they can help keep those nasty bugs away.
- Choose plants that flourish in your environment
Depending on where you live, there are certain plants that flourish in certain areas. If you live in Australia, there are plenty of native plants that you should consider planting, such as Lilly Pilly “Big Red”, blue chalk sticks and even the NSW Christmas Bush. They do well in the Aussie environment, as they can handle the heavy overhead sunlight. Research your area and pick a selection of plants that will be more likely to flourish.
Gardening has so many benefits, it’s hard to keep them reduced to just five. Now that Spring has arrived, it’s time to get out your overalls, gardening gloves and your straw hat. You can reduce your stress levels, anxiety and have some real fun watching your creation come to life.