If you’re anything like me, you probably love spending quality time in your garden each year! Gardening never fails to make us feel optimistic, happy and alive. However, did you know that there are studies indicating gardening has positive health benefits? In addition to your physical and mental health, gardening can also boost your learning ability! Here are some interesting things to know about gardening health benefits!
So, we all tend to feel happiest when we’ve been outside, getting exercise tending our gardens, right? There are very good reasons why this is the case. Firstly, working outside allows us to soak up sunlight, which produces Vitamin D in our bodies. Sunlight (along with some foods) is a great source of helpful Vitamin D, which strengthens our bones and immune systems.
Do you tend to feel healthiest after you’ve spent time digging in the soil? It turns out that dirty hands are healthy hands! Researchers report finding microscopic organisms that live in the dirt that have helpful benefits to people. Soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae is ingested through breathing or cracks in the skin when we play in the dirt. This bacteria triggers the release of the helpful hormone serotonin in our brains.
This hormone provides several helpful benefits for mental and physical health. It regulates mood, happiness and anxiety during our daily routines. Unfortunately, low serotonin levels are often linked to depression, emotional instability and obsessive compulsive disorder. In addition to these mental health benefits, serotonin also strengthens our immune systems!
Gardening Makes You Smarter
In July of 2020, DIYS conducted an experiment measuring the cognitive abilities of close to 5,000 volunteers. The volunteers were tested before and after engaging in hobbies (including gardening!) for an extended period of time. The results were clear: gardening boosts your brain power!
Volunteers tested an average 5.10% increase in IQ after spending time in the garden getting their hands dirty. What accounts for this increase? Well, hobbies such as gardening give our brains a mental workout. They increase cognitive stimulation, concentration, and boost memory retention.
Additional studies show 80% of people who garden report being happy and satisfied with life. Conversely, only 67% of non-gardeners report the same!
Any activities that involve spending time outside and boost mental health and well-being are great to get involved in. Especially after the past year! Gardening is a great way add life and beauty to the world while caring for yourself as well.
These are just a few gardening health benefits! We know that spending time in your garden increases peace, joy and helps manage stress. Check out this post to read more!