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May 19, 2022
The Positive Effects of Gardening
Gardening is an undeniably meaningful activity. It’s an act that requires caring for something outside of ourselves and nurturing another life. But did you know that exposure to plants and greenery sets us up for success when it comes to our wellbeing? There’s increasing evidence that this relationship can have a positive impact on both our mental and physical wellness.
The connection between plants and our wellbeing
When we garden, we work on our dexterity and our strength, engaging in aerobic exercise even if we don’t realize it. We dig, mow, rake—all labor-intensive activities that engage our full body. Just 30 minutes of gardening and related activities, including mowing the lawn, burn a similar calorie equivalent to activities like water aerobics, yoga, gymnastics, tai chi, or taking a brisk walk.
Regular exercise and physical activity are essential for our wellbeing, reducing the risk of dementia, issues with our mental wellness, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more.
Why is gardening therapeutic?
What is it about gardening that feels like self-care? Gardening combines physical activity with exposure to sunlight and nature as well as social interaction. Sunlight can help lower our blood pressure and increase vitamin D production. Vitamin D is essential for bone health as well as brain development and functioning. A vitamin D deficiency is also tied to depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Activities like gardening have been shown to decrease cortisol levels and restore a positive mood more effectively than reading, promoting relief from acute stress. Other studies have shown improved social functioning, vocational development, and enhanced emotional wellbeing. Incorporating our Energy or Calm gummies into your gardening routine can also help deliver a steady stream of energy and reduce stress while you tend to your garden.
How we can garden at home
Gardening will look different for everyone, depending on where and how you live. Your location, temperature, amount of space, sunlight, and type of home–whether an apartment or house–are all factors that will contribute to what type of garden you can start. Today, hydroponic gardens are growing in popularity for apartment dwellers as they require no soil and allow you to grow your plants indoors (or even out), but still, expose us to the greenery in our space and through our daily actions.
If you’re able to start a garden in your yard, it’s important to understand your climate zone to make informed decisions on what you will be able to grow. Select a location that gets direct sunlight daily before making your garden bed, ensuring consistent sunlight for your plants, as well as sun exposure for you to get enough vitamin D. As the seasons change, so will the tasks required to tend to your garden: Spring brings extra weeding, summer temperatures mean increased watering, and fall brings clean-up efforts to prepare for the next year.
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