The word “gardening” holds different meanings for different people. Some may think of vegetable gardening, farmers and various food crops. Others might recall time spent with grandparents in the “good old days” smelling Grandma’s roses, or some may think of gardening as hard work pulling weeds and mowing. The association between people and gardening is as varied as the people themselves.
Here are just a few reasons to dig in the dirt:
Gardening . . .
Is a stress buster. It has been found to lower the levels of cortisol in the blood and even elevates one’s mood.
May lower the risk of dementia. Studies have found that people who enjoyed the physical activity of gardening had between a 30 and 40 percent lower risk of dementia.
Burns calories. You can burn over 300 calories during moderate garden activity. Perhaps gardening three to five times each week could be your new exercise routine.
Enables people to enter the “zone.” The zone is similar to what a person who runs, practices yoga or meditates often experiences. In this altered state, a person can experience the best or truest version of themselves.
Can be a way of finding meaning in life. The garden and finding a connection to the earth allows one to focus on beauty and inspires gratitude and abundance.
Improves relationships and compassion. Extended exposure to nature and wildlife increases people’s compassion for one another as it increases their compassion for their environment.
Reduces the risk of heart disease. It is known to lower blood pressure, keep weight under control and lower the risk of stroke.
Strengthens the immune system and keeps bones strong. While working in the outdoors and enjoying a little sunshine, your body is better able to absorb calcium.
The connection and reasons to garden continue and differ for each person. Find your own reason in this busy, often chaotic and regularly disconnected world. Do you hear your garden calling?