Do you have a small area where you can exercise, calm yourself, and think deeply while releasing all the cares of the world? Well, if you have a garden then you do!
You may not be aware of it but caring for a garden burns calories, calms the nerves, and improves our connection with nature which can improve overall health. There are studies that show that just mowing the lawn (with a push mower) burns about 400 calories an hour. Pulling weeds burns about 200 calories an hour.
The University of Arkansas performed a study that showed that gardening was almost as effective as weight lifting at reducing the risk of osteoporosis in women. So along with the benefit of being outside, you can avoid a gym fee if you trade a Zumba class for caring for your garden and yard.
Before digging in you should always consult your health professional to make sure you are healthy enough to do active gardening. Even if you get the green light just make sure to start slow and easy then see how your body feels the next day. If you have not overdone it then you can go a little more briskly, and a little longer each time until you feel like you are on a fairly fast walkabout. You should still be able to have a conversation, but your breathing should be quickened a little bit.
The cool thing about gardening is that you can also cut food bill costs and improve the healthiness of your meals by growing your own organic fruits and vegetables. Studies confirm that people who grow their own veggies and fruits tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than families that don’t. Freshly grown herbs also add great flavor to home cooked meals and get your creative juices flowing so that you can have more variety in your meal plans.
Again, gardening is also a great way to manage stress. When you are outside and focused on a single activity, you are more in tune with how nature made us to operate. Our modern lives are now overrun with activities and communications that constantly vie for our attention and leave us frazzled by the end of the day.
Gardening forces us to slow down, grow patient, and feel more humility because no matter how much digging, planting, and watering we do, the activation of seeds in the earth, and their growth are not up to us. Lots of life lessons can be learned from gardening. Take advantage of it!