16 Ways Gardening Benefits Your Body And Soul And The Planet

16 Ways Gardening Benefits Your Body and Soul and the Planet

Everything on Earth is connected. The way we live our lives not only affects our well-being, but also the state of our environment. The good news is that even the smallest contribution can change the world for the better and improve our health. Gardening is one of those small things.

When you are surrounded by nature, it brings you back to the roots we all came from, sheltered from high-rises and traffic jams. Being exposed to sunlight, plants, nature sounds, and fragrances can bring you inner peace and calm, as well as bring you closer to Gaia. So, let’s talk about how gardening benefits your body and soul and the planet, paving the way for a brighter tomorrow. 

1.     It Can Help You Stay Fit

Gardening does count as exercise. For example, digging can burn 250, weeding 105, and raking 100 calories. Besides being great for melting fat, it can also help you tone up and strengthen the muscles, especially in the arms and abdominal area. 

This makes gardening is a wonderful self-care activity that can boost your self-esteem and support weight management. Being overweight and obese are serious conditions that can harm your body and soul. So, not only will you make the planet greener, but you will also improve your health with physical activity that you can truly enjoy.

2.    It’s a Social Activity

Spending time with people is at the core of being human. It's how we form emotional bonds and adapt to circumstances. But, the most important people in your life you should spend time with are your friends, family, and partners. Unfortunately, those relationships are also the ones that suffer the most because of our jobs, social media, and the need to isolate ourselves from stress.

Gardening can help you reconnect with your loved ones and share memorable moments while planting, weeding, and digging. Additionally, you can meet new people through community gardens where you will find gardeners of all ages and backgrounds. So, not only will you gain new friends but also new experiences and gardening secrets.

3.    It’s a Source of Vitamin D

Sunlight stimulates the body to produce vitamin D. This nutrient is primarily important for bone health and the immune system, but it has other benefits as well. It can lower the risks of some types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, dementia, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.

Several studies suggest vitamin D can improve immune response — one of the latest ones concerning the COVID-19 patients. It states that vitamin D can increase the presence of T regulatory lymphocytes or Tregs responsible for lowering the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms, like pneumonia. Nonetheless, overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancers, heatstroke, and burns so put on a hat, take breaks in the shade, and always wear a high-SPF sunscreen.

It’s a source of vitamin D

4.    It Can Improve Hand Strength

Flexibility and coordination of your hands are something you need for everyday tasks, like unlocking the doors or making coffee. Since gardening includes movements, your motor skills may improve with only a few minutes of digging, raking, and weeding. Just make sure to use quality garden tools in order not to hurt yourself with old rusty tools.

If you spend time making repetitive movements, such as typing, you can eliminate some of the strain with gardening. Older people can also benefit by increasing their mobility, especially to prevent the onset of musculoskeletal diseases.

5.    It Keeps You Close To Nature

Humans and nature used to be inseparable. But then concrete and glass replaced the plants and humans forgot how good it felt to be close to nature. By only viewing the scenes of nature you feel calmer and overwhelmed with pleasant feelings, so gardening can have an even bigger impact.

Spending time in your garden will boost your health, but it can also make you more aware of the urgency to protect it. Experiencing the benefits of gardening and knowing that it is in danger due to climate change may inspire you to use sustainable growing methods and participate in saving the planet.

6.    It Protects Natural Pollinators

Natural pollinators are insects and other animals that help fertilize plants. The great majority of plants can't reproduce without them. Bees, flies, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bats are some of the busiest pollinators responsible for maintaining ecosystems that humans and animals rely on.

To attract pollinators to your garden, grow native plants, don't use pesticides, and create shelter for them, like birdhouses. Different shapes and colors of flowers are important to help bees find nectar and pollen. Some of the most favorable flowers for bees are black-eyed Susans and English lavender, but you will do well with any local flower plant rich in nectar and pollen.

7.     It Elevates The Mood

Garden tools and digging are proven to elevate the mood. One of the reasons is raising the serotonin levels through exposure to sun and Mycobacterium vaccae — a soil bacteria. Serotonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the body responsible for the feeling of happiness, so its lower levels may cause depression.

Another mood boost comes from dopamine that may rush through your body after a successful harvest. This is connected to the reward center in the brain which is triggered when you are satisfied with an accomplishment, for example plucking fruits. Both neurotransmitters will also encourage you to spend time in the garden and care for your mental health, whether by meditating, doing yoga, or reading.

It Elevates The Mood

8.   It Prevents Soil Erosion

Soil erosion happens when there are no plants in an area and rainwater can easily wash it away. Topsoil is the most affected by this, meaning the surface is rid of organic materials that bring nutrients to the plants. Simply put, by creating a garden, you protect the soil from this loss of nutrients and make sure that the ground continues to be fertile and support life.

But that is not all. The washed-away topsoil can clog the waterways, endangering fish and other life there. Even the degraded soil presents a hazard since it can't hold water that well which can cause floods in areas with heavy rainfalls.  

9.    It Encourages a Healthier Diet

When you work on creating a garden, you have the freedom to decide what you will grow. While flowers are always a popular variety, more and more gardeners opt for vegetables, fruits, and herbs. This comes from the fact that growing your own food may improve your diet and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

A producer uses natural resources to grow their products, like fossil fuel and water. If the demand for the products has decreased because of your homegrown food, then it may reduce the exploitation of these resources. Moreover, you can make sure that all fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are organic and not toxic to the environment, birds, bees, and humans.   

10.                       It Reduces The Use of Plastic

The food you buy in the store is packed in plastic and cardboard packaging that ends up in landfills. Plastic presents a greater problem since it takes years to decompose and during that time it releases toxic chemicals into the environment. Production of plastic is measured in several hundred million tons and the prognosis is that it will only increase in the future.

Around 8 million tons of that plastic is in the oceans, killing marine life and poisoning their habitats. If you produce your own food, you don’t need plastic packages and bags. It may seem like a small contribution, but one plastic bag less in the ocean is one life saved.

11. It Reduces Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is so common in urban areas that most of us don't notice it. However, it's bad for your ears and can seriously damage wildlife by disrupting breeding cycles and causing the extinction of species. As a gardener, you have an opportunity to reduce noise pollution in your neighborhood by planting trees, shrubbery, and creating as much green space as possible for a quieter environment.

While we have to learn to live with noise pollution, minimizing it should still be one of the priorities. Although meditation teaches you to disconnect from the noises, sometimes even the most skillful meditators can be irritated by noisy disturbances.  

It Reduces Noise Pollution

12.                        It Gives You The Perfect Meditation Spot

Adding plants to your outdoor area brings more oxygen and tranquility to the area, making it an ideal spot for meditation. In 2019, the Scandinavian research team reviewed several studies that observed the relationship between meditation and nature. They concluded that meditation in the garden is only surpassed by doing it in a wilder green environment, like a forest.

The positive effect on the psychological and physical conditions of meditation alone is indisputable, but it seems that doing it outdoors may bring more benefits than indoors. Your garden is a familiar place, built with love, dedication, and optimism that offers a nurturing environment to meditate. Connecting with your inner being and the energy of living entities around you helps you open up your chakras and achieve spiritual balance. 

13.                        It Makes You Use Your AC less

Air conditioners need a lot of electricity that is mostly produced by coal, a process which in turn releases carbon into the atmosphere. But a more localized issue with AC units is that they emit hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that increase your carbon footprint more than coal.

To keep cool, you can plant trees, shrubbery, and surround your property with a garden. Natural shade is also healthier since air conditioners can cause headaches and respiratory problems with their low temperatures.

14.                        It Gives You Purpose

Participating in the green movement can give you purpose and make you part of something big. People with low self-esteem and confidence know best what it's like to feel irrelevant to the world. With gardening, you can find empowerment and a sense of agency.

You will fight against corporate food suppliers, plastic manufacturers, fossil fuel extractors, and other entities that damage the planet with their actions and greed. It’s a way to fight injustice by growing something that can improve the world we live in.

15. It Can Help Your Blood Pressure

It’s normal for blood pressure to go up and down during the day, but if it's constantly high, that is cause for alarm. High blood pressure or hypertension can lead to heart conditions, stroke, and kidney disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables you grew in your garden can help keep your blood pressure under control, but it may take more than a healthy diet.

According to WHO recommendations, you can manage your blood pressure with physical activity such as gardening. For adults, it's recommended to spend at least 150–300 minutes weekly doing a moderate-intensity activity or 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity.  

16.                        It Chases Away Eco-Anxiety

Eco-anxiety is fear of environmental disasters that could damage the planet and the life that it carries. Climate change makes people worry about the future, leaving them powerless to change it for the better.

With gardening, you can see the fruits of your effort immediately through practices you use, like composting, mulching, and harvesting. This way, you are taking positive action to change things for the better and deepen your connection with nature.

In Conclusion

Our health is connected to the health of our planet. All these ways show how gardening benefits your body and soul and the planet, meaning it's a circle of life that never stops running. We should try to do our absolute best to improve this world for us and future generations since this is our only home. And believe it or not, planting some flowers, a tree, or tomatoes can bring us closer to that vision.

Post a Comment