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15 Reasons to Start a Garden for Better Health

Gardening is a cherished activity in the United States. According to a recent survey, approximately 55% of U.S. households engage in some form of gardening. So, if your garden is your happy place, we have good news for you. Besides making your home look appealing and giving you fresh produce, gardening has been linked with numerous health benefits.

Researchers are constantly showing how gardening can make us healthier in many ways. It’s a loved activity across cultures for its calming effect away from our busy digital lives.

But what exactly makes gardening so beneficial for our health? Let’s explore 15 reasons gardening is excellent for your health and why you should start digging and planting (if you still haven’t).

1. Homegrown Food Tastes Amazing and is Healthy

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Gardening can significantly impact your diet by encouraging you to eat fresh, homegrown food. When you grow your own fruits, veggies, and herbs, you eat food full of nutrients right away, so your meals contain variety and are balanced. 

Moreover, growing your own food makes you value healthy eating more, as you see the whole process from seed to plate. Also, the food you grow at home often tastes better and doesn’t contain the pesticides and chemicals that store-bought food might contain.

2. Gardening Helps You Sleep Better

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Engaging in gardening activities can significantly enhance the quality of your sleep. Gardening involves planting, digging, and weeding, giving your body a good workout. This physical activity helps to tire you out, making it easier to fall asleep at night. 

Additionally, being outside in the natural sunlight helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which controls your sleep-wake cycle. This means your body knows when it’s time to be awake and when it’s time to sleep, allowing for better sleep patterns.

A study found that gardeners tend to get at least 7 hours of sleep at night. 

3. Enhances Mental Health

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Ever feel those flowers smiling at you? Gardening has well-documented therapeutic qualities. Engaging with plants and soil can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Interacting with plants and soil can make you happier because it increases serotonin, a brain chemical associated with happiness. Gardening can help you feel more connected and calm, providing a peaceful escape that refreshes your mind and spirit.

And if you are new to gardening, there is good news. Research shows that working with plants can boost your mental health, even for people who have never garnered!

4. Connects You to Nature

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Gardening is a popular way for people worldwide to feel close to nature, especially in cities without much green space. Growing plants, whether in a small balcony garden, a community plot, or a big backyard, lets you experience nature’s beauty directly.

When you spend time in your outdoor garden, you notice and enjoy your surroundings more, such as flower colors, bees, and chirping birds. It makes you appreciate the natural world and encourages a good lifestyle for our environment.

5. Provides Vitamin D

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Gardening boosts your exposure to natural sunlight, a key source of vitamin D. This vitamin is vital for various bodily functions such as calcium absorption for bone health ,immune function, and mood regulation. 

Many people, especially those who spend much time indoors, are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Regular gardening ensures enough sunlight exposure, helping maintain optimal vitamin D levels for overall health.

6. Improves Cognitive Function

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Gardening can be mentally stimulating and may improve cognitive functions. For older adults, gardening has been linked mainly to improved memory retention, attention span, and overall mental sharpness. 

With its different textures, colors, and smells, gardening can help the brain uniquely, making it stronger and more connected. Solving gardening problems, like planning where things go or fixing sick plants, keeps the brain busy and healthy, which might help slow down memory loss and dementia.

7. Gives You a Sense of Accomplishment

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One of the most rewarding aspects of gardening is that it makes you feel accomplished. Each step, from planting seeds to harvesting, gives a unique sense of fulfillment. Gardening boosts your overall self-esteem and mental health. 

Gardeners enjoy seeing the results of their hard work, like a beautiful garden or lots of produce, showing their dedication. Gardening also connects people with nature, helping them understand growth cycles and feel a sense of purpose. It offers continuous personal growth and lasting satisfaction, a nice change from fast-paced, tech-heavy lives.

8. Encourages Mindfulness

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Gardening is a mindful activity that promotes living in the present moment and being fully aware of one’s surroundings. It involves simple, repetitive tasks like planting and watering, which can help calm the mind. 

Gardening can reduce stress by making you feel more relaxed and connected to nature. It also offers sensory experiences, like the smell of flowers and the feel of soil, which help you stay in the moment and forget about past or future worries.

9. Boosts Physical Activity

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Gardening is an excellent way to increase your level of physical activity without the need for a gym membership. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even classifies gardening as moderate exercise. It is because it includes activities like digging, planting, and watering that are great for a full-body workout, working your arms, legs, and core. 

They help build strength and endurance and can burn calories, which is good for your heart, flexibility, and balance. Gardening regularly can keep you at a healthy weight and lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

10. Helps in Addiction Recovery

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Gardening has been getting attention as a valuable method in addiction recovery programs. Many rehab centers and community gardens use gardening to help people feel better and less likely to go back to addictive habits. 

A study observed that plants provoked positive emotions in people recovering from alcohol addiction, proving to be an effective tool for rehabilitation.

Moreover, caring for plants provides a sense of responsibility and purpose, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals overcoming addiction.

11. Encourages Social Interactions

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Gardening brings people together. Many places have shared gardens where you can garden with others, share gardening tips, and make friends. This helps people feel connected and less lonely. 

There are also gardening clubs and events where you can learn new things and meet others who like gardening. Gardening together teaches teamwork and problem-solving. It’s perfect for older adults, keeping them active and connected to others, which is great for their well-being.

12. Boosts Creativity

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Starting your garden ignites your artistic side. You design beautiful landscapes, play with various plants, and create unique garden designs. It gives you a creative outlet to express yourself. 

With so many ways to mix and match, choose colors, and pick themes, you’ll never run out of ways to get creative and innovative. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to boost your problem-solving skills and start seeing nature’s beauty.

13. It’s Good for the Ecosystem

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Gardening helps the environment by creating homes for various species, increasing biodiversity. Planting local plants supports wildlife like birds and bees, which are essential for pollination. 

Gardens also soak up rainwater, reducing stormwater overload and helping to clean the water. They absorb CO2, fight climate change, and composting enriches the soil, making plants healthier. In short, gardens are like mini-ecosystems that help make our planet healthier.

14. Keeps Your Heart Healthy

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Gardening is a versatile physical activity that can significantly enhance heart health. According to a study (data collected from US seniors over 65), regular gardeners are more likely to meet the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Furthermore, gardening can aid in managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, contributing to a healthier cardiovascular system. 

15. Maintains Weight

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Gardening is an effective way to shed pounds. The tasks involved in gardening require constant movement and effort, which burn calories and improve metabolism. Gardening activities can burn anywhere from 175-300 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of the task and the individual’s body weight.

Also, growing your own fruits and vegetables encourages healthier eating habits, keeping you fit and energetic.

16 Science-Backed Reasons to Go Outside Everyday

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How much time did you spend outdoors this week? In our fast-paced world, where screens take up all our attention, it’s not surprising that we spend more time indoors than ever. While getting caught up in the daily grind is easy, stepping outside and spending time in nature cannot be overlooked.

Spending time outdoors is magical and offers more benefits than most people realize. The fresh air, the sound of birds, and the greenery lift the mood instantly, but the advantages go beyond just making us feel good. 

16 Science-Backed Reasons to Go Outside Everyday

17 Things That Happen When Someone Stops Drinking

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Have you ever wondered what changes you might see in yourself once you put down the glass for good? Deciding to quit drinking, even if you don’t drink “that much,” can be life-changing. 

Studies show that alcohol consumption has been linked to over 200 diseases and around 178000 deaths in the US each year. You’re taking a decisive step towards improving your health and overall well-being by quitting drinking.

17 Things That Happen When Someone Stops Drinking

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