Garden with text overlay: 8 Ways Gardening Can Improve Wellness

8 Ways Gardening Can Improve Wellness

This was originally written a couple of years ago, but I thought this might be a good time to revisit and update it just in case I can convince you to come over to the ‘green side’…. 😊

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. The garden is my happy place.

So far we’ve had asparagus twice, and we have lettuce and spinach that will be ready to cut soon. We also have tomatoes and cucumbers planted. Gardening isn’t just fun, though; it can also improve our wellness.

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

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

Here are just a few of the benefits of planting a garden, whether in the ground or in pots on the patio:

8 Ways Gardening Can Improve Wellness

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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!

5. It can help reduce demential 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.”

6. 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 get more of them into our diets. There are a few reasons: we don’t have to make a trip to the grocery store and we tend to grow the things we like to eat so we’ll eat more of them. In addition, there’s just something exciting about going out, picking something we grew with our own hands, and eating it.

7. 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.

8. 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. It really does give you a sense of accomplishment, 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.

If you feel trying to garden is too much for you, you can check out some tips to make gardening easier in this post.

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

If you found this helpful, I’d love it if you’d share!

Garden with text overlay: 8 Ways Gardening Can Improve Wellness
 
 
 
 
 

21 comments

  1. I’m so glad your back and I’m already ont hegreen and greener side as I can be. There is somuch to do but we can keep taking small steps. Being utdoors is my therapy this time of year.

    1. Thanks so much Mel! It’s good to be back. It felt good to publish a post last week. I’m glad you’re enjoying your outdoor space as well. Like you, I feel being outdoors is great therapy. I hope you’re doing as well as possible. Hugs!

      1. I think being outdoors is therapy for a lot of us…. I don’t spend a lot of time outdoors when it’s cold, but once it starts warming up I can’t wait to get outside.😊

      2. I so agree Terri! It’s warming up where I am and I try to get out every day! I love when it’s raining though and I get to cuddle up inside too though 🙂 x

  2. Thanks Terri! We have the garden ready, just need to get the plants in the ground. Maybe this weekend.

    1. Your lovely wife told me you were working on the garden Sunday when we talked. I think she was happy to have a good excuse to take a break.😁 I hope you guys enjoy your garden and the fruit of your labors this year!

  3. This is such an important topic Terri! I love all the b.enefits you listed…….we have 3 very very small gardening areas that do not produce much due to all the trees on our lot, but it gets me out of the house, I get to enjoy the sunshine and it helps reduce our grocery bill a bit which is a huge win! I hope you and yours are well. 🙂 It’s so good to “see” you!

    1. Thanks so much Wendi! I’m glad you’re able to have a garden. Ours is small too – I wanted to keep it manageable, and of course, there’s only my husband and me. I hope you and yours are doing well also sweet friend. It’s good to “see” you too! Hugs!

  4. Thank you for rerunning this article. I know when our kids were growing up, I had a massive kitchen garden and they loved helping me with it (well, most days,…). When kids grow their own vegetables, they actually eat them!

    1. Wow, that sounds wonderful Dorothy! I was a teenager when my parents started planting a big garden. I worked a part-time job, so I didn’t have to help in the garden then. Who knew I’d grow up to enjoy gardening so much? You make such a great point about kids eating their veggies if they grow them themselves. Hope you’re doing well sweet friend. Hugs!

  5. It’s always a wonder that you write timely posts that coincide with things happening in my life. Even though I live in a condo, on the weekends I go to my parents place to take care of their yard. Currently I’m battling a ton of weeds but I strangely find it very therapeutic. I’m finding myself perusing YouTube videos on gardening tips. Great post Terri!

    1. Thanks so much Mark! It’s great that you’re able to help your parents out by taking care of their yard on the weekends. I know what you mean about the ‘battle of the weeds’ being therapeutic. It just feels so good to be outside working sometimes. I hope you and your family are doing well dear friend!

  6. These are fantastic, Terri. I fully agree with all of them. My dad enjoys gardening – I’ve seen a huge difference in him from between the very long winter months stuck indoors shielding, and the last month where he’s been out in the garden most days, keeping busy, getting fresh air and exercise and the sense of accomplishment. Don’t underestimate the power of the green thumb, even if you’re a novice gardener and just enjoy being out there to enjoy the beauty (like moi!) xx

    1. Thanks so much Caz! I’m so glad your Dad has been able to get out in the garden. It really can make a huge difference in your physical and mental health. My Pop has been out taking care of the yard and getting their garden ready since the weather warmed up. He’ll get out there and stay for hours. I hope you’re doing well sweet friend. Sending hugs your way!

  7. My garden resembles my mental health…. When I am worn out, I think “oh shit, my plants” and probably water them too much. When I am having a “good day” I forget about them until I pass out at night. It’s yet another sign….I need better balance in my life.

    1. It’s good to “see” you Grace! It sounds like you have the same problem with watering that I do with my potted plants on my front and back porches. My problem is that I just forget all about watering them sometimes, and since our back porch is in full sunlight almost all day, you can imagine what happens…. This year, I’ve started trying to build a ‘habit loop’ around watering them. My cue to water is that my hubby takes our pup out after breakfast. Even on days I don’t think I need to water, I go out and check them anyway. I’m hoping that after a while of doing that, it’ll just be habit for me to do it and I won’t forget. We’ll see how it goes…. I hope you’re doing well sweet friend. Hugs!

Please tell me what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.