Gardening gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine. It also gets your blood moving and circulating. Gardening is considered moderate to high intensity exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention you can burn up to 330 calories during one hour of gardening. Just 30 minutes of gardening a few times a week can help control high blood pressure. On the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s recommendation list is gardening to help battle hypertension. While your outdoors you will also be soaking up plenty of Vitamin D in the sunshine. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which in turn keeps your bones strong and immune system healthy.
Gardening can help people with dementia. Many residential homes for people with dementia now have gardens on their grounds. The sights, smells, and sounds of the garden are said to promote relaxation and reduce stress. According to Thrive, which helps people with a range of mental health problems, our elderly population with dementia is going to just increase which will put more strain on the health care system. Doing a small garden which has shown to improve a dementia person’s mood and sociability with others is well worth the effort.
Gardeners eat more fruits and vegetables than their peers. Food you grow at home is the freshest food you can eat. Homegrown food is not chemically altered and has more nutritional value. It’s proven that if you work hard to grow the food you will eat it. Food in your own garden is easier to access then driving to the store. The best perk of all is homegrown foods simply taste better.
You don’t need a big backyard or a green thumb to benefit from gardening. If you have little space or experience, start with a few houseplants or gardening containers. You can grow many things in pots. For example tomatoes, herbs, peppers, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, and cucumbers all grow very well in large or little pots. Many gardeners believe gardening is a way out of the “modern” world. A way to reclaim the lives we have lost in busy schedules. Working in a garden can ease stress, keep you limber, and improve your mood.
Thank you Crystal Lawver, RN Case Manager, Divine Home Care – Litchfield for contributing this blog post.