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Tend to your Garden: The Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Gardening

Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 06-Aug-2018

Many people think of gardening as a leisurely activity for homeowners to enhance the appearance of their property. In addition to increased curb appeal, gardening can offer a total-body workout and provide individuals with an opportunity to connect with nature. Gardening not only involves physical exercise but can also work to improve one’s mental health.

Curious about how gardening can improve your overall health? Take a look at these physical and mental health benefits of gardening.

Gardening gives you a sense of responsibility

When you cultivate plants from the time they’re seeds until they’re in full bloom, you will assume a sense of responsibility for them. It will be up to you to ensure they get enough water and sunlight, and have the nutrients they need to grow. When you have the responsibility of caring for something other than yourself, you will learn to hold yourself accountable.

Being accountable for something else can help to motivate you throughout your day. On days where you just don’t feel like getting out of bed, you will remember that your plants are depending on you to tend to them, and if you don’t, they won’t survive.

Gardening gets you out of the house

Tending to a garden requires a substantial amount of physical activity — some even say that the physical activity involved in gardening is equivalent to playing a doubles match in tennis.

When you get outside and go through the motions of gardening, you’ll get a dose of physical exercise without realizing it. You will be using all of your muscles to dig, arrange, plant, and water your new greenery, getting a full body workout when you tend to your garden. Even if you don’t have a strict workout regimen, the small amount of exercise you get while working on your garden will reduce your chances of developing diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and will promote a longer and healthier life.

Gardening makes you health-conscious

It may come as a surprise, but gardening is actually linked to a healthier diet. You can grow your own food, which encourages you to make healthier choices; having a garden of fresh vegetables free of pesticides will nip those fast food cravings right in the bud. Plus, when you take the time to grow your favourite vegetables you’ll be more inclined to include them in more recipes when you’re cooking.

Gardening improves your mood

Research has shown that gardeners generally have greater self-esteem, higher life satisfaction and less feeling of depression than non-gardeners. A hectic work schedule combined with a busy life often allows people to tune out those around them, and lose sight of the big picture. Something as simple as gardening can foster a connection to nature, and forces people to slow down. Those who garden often claim that gardening is a sure fire way to improve their mood, even on the most sluggish of days; it gives them a sense of pride and reduces feelings of tension, depression and anger.

Gardening will put your brain to work

While gardening provides a great physical workout, it’s also a great way to put your brain to work, too. Gardening may seem like a mindless task, but there’s a lot of thought and effort that goes into it once you really delve into the world of gardening. From planning the layout of your gardening to finding out which plants are compatible with each other, and what types of soil you’ll need to buy, maintaining a garden is a fantastic way to ensure you keep your brain working. If doing sudokus or crosswords aren’t your thing, try getting your dose of mental exercise by starting a new garden.

Gardening makes you appreciative

Gardening is a very simple task that allows you to get back in touch with nature. When you slow down to appreciate the beauty of your garden, you’ll be more appreciative when it comes to other parts of your life. It’s easy to get bogged down with problems at work and issues in your personal life, but nothing brings it all into perspective like spending some quality time with nature.

Gardening helps you connect with those around you

Gardening doesn’t have to be a solo activity; you can do it with those you live with, or even enjoy a community garden for the chance to socialize with your neighbours. We all need our downtime, but being isolated for too long isn’t good for anyone. Getting out and joining a community garden will help you not only connect with nature but to those around you as well. Similar to satisfying basic needs like food, water and shelter, we need to satisfy our need for social interaction — gardening is the perfect way to do that.

Gardening will give you a sense of achievement

Gardening is a simple form of activity to keep you active both mentally and physically. You don’t need a garden size of a meadow to reap the benefits; a small batch in your backyard can do the trick. When you commit to maintaining your garden you’ll find a sense of achievement in being able to create something beautiful that you can enjoy, no matter how big or small it is. Gardening is a great way to feel productive in your everyday life without overextending yourself.

To learn more about how to take care of your health, contact Physiomed by finding a clinic near you, or contact us here.

Dr. Scott Wilson

Dr. Scott Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of Physiomed; one of Canada’s largest franchised networks of inter-disciplinary healthcare clinics. A graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Wilson founded Physiomed in 1994 and has since grown Physiomed to over 30 clinics in Southern Ontario and British Columbia. With hundreds of practitioners from over a dozen disciplines, Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have helped over 100,000 Canadians with physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, orthotic therapy, compression therapy and clinical conditioning as part of a program of rehabilitation and health optimization. In addition to helping patients improve their physical and mental well-being, Dr. Wilson has also mentored hundreds of practitioners to provide better care while enjoying more fulfilling careers. He is also a keynote speaker on many health related topics including how physiotherapy, chiropractic and health & wellness treatment can help with stress, weight loss, and unlocking the true potential within to achieve lasting physical well-being.

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