Research now shows what gardeners have basically known for generations, and that is, gardening is good for your health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labels gardening as “moderate cardiovascular exercise.” The Former National Gardening Magazine editor, Dan Hickey says, “According to the studies that he has participated in, 45 minutes of gardening can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of heart-healthy aerobics.”
The National Institute of Health goes so far as to recommend 30 to 45 minutes of gardening three to five times a week as part of a good strategy to combat obesity. If you are pressed for time or can’t physically manage 30 minutes at a time, you can still benefit by breaking up your exercise into smaller portions. For instance, you can do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the late afternoon. This way you can also avoid working in the heat and humidity of midday. Research also shows that gardeners have an increased passion for life, sleep better, and have a lowered risk for osteoporosis and diabetes.
Beside the physical benefits, gardening can provide us with fresh, healthy foods as well as the joy of seeing the plants that we care for…flourish, not to mention the festival of wildlife that is truly enchanting! Every time I go to the garden, I am greeted with butterflies, dragonflies, turtles, beavers, deer and a variety of birds, including the glorious eagle!
The longer I garden, the more I realize how many different ways that I benefit from gardening, beginning with my body and extending to my mind; my creative abilities grow into the garden of my soul.