Pamela Connellan

Home & Garden

The surprising health benefits of gardening

The surprising health benefits of gardening

Gardening has some health benefits you can’t put a price on. A Dutch study from 2011 asked two groups of people to complete a stressful task.

Straight after this, they assigned the groups 30 minutes of either gardening or reading. When tested, the gardeners’ stress hormones were found to be significantly lower.

Dirt has some interesting benefits

There’s something about digging in the dirt that’s incredibly satisfying. Why? Well, it could be the dirt itself. Mycobacterium vaccae is a healthy bacterium which is found naturally living in soil and it’s been found to increase serotonin and provide anxiety relief when inhaled.

The physical benefits of gardening increase as we age

When you’re out digging, pulling weeds and planting new things in your garden, you’re helping to strengthen your hands, which is especially important as we get older.

As we get to a more senior age, we tend to lose our grip strength and conditions such as arthritis become more common, leading to difficulty performing tasks. But it helps to keep moving and so doing some gardening will assist you.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a back yard

Many of us don’t have a back yard so we think we can’t do gardening any more. But you can still do some fruitful urban gardening in large containers. The bigger the pots, the better, because after watering, the soil stays wet for longer.

Maintenance can take as little as five minutes per day

Once you have your garden set up, it only takes as much time as it takes to walk around your garden and put your finger in the soil up to the second knuckle to check on it.

If the soil feels moist and cool, then there’s no need to water. But if it feels dry and crumbly, it will need to be watered.

Photos: Getty Images




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