Exercising through Gardening - A Hobby for Good Health


Gardening is not merely a hobby. It is a means to achieve good mental health and physical fitness. This articles provides an insight into how gardening is a form of exercise for all-round good health.

Introduction

Many of us have beautiful gardens or plants decorating our balconies. Many of us enjoy gardening. Some of us dedicate ourselves, if not daily, at least once a week or on weekends to take care of our plants. Getting rid of those weeds, adding fertilizers, removing dried petals, planting new plants or seeds, and waiting for the flowers to bloom are some of the tasks that we involve ourselves in. On daily basis, we may not spend this much time and only water our plants once or twice as per the requirement and prevailing season. It is a perfect hobby to be around the plants, and see them grow and bloom. However, how many of us are aware that gardening can be more than a hobby? It can prove to be an excellent exercise not only for the body but also can help achieve sound mental health. This article explains how to reap maximum benefits from gardening and increase the intensity to achieve optimal health.

Gardening as an exercise

How many of us spend thousands on gym memberships? How many of us when walking on that treadmill or lifting heavy weights miss the fresh air outside and wish that gym was more of an outdoor experience? Well, gardening offers everything that a gym cannot. We don't have to spend money while we are gardening. Plants do not demand much. They need a little nurturing and care. Gardening is an outdoor experience. Being around plants and trees gives us an amazing experience. Why lift dumbbells or purchase them because we have enough heavy objects when gardening is our hobby. Ever lifted a shovel or a clipper? Ever lifted a plant and moved to a sunny area or a dark shade? Those who have will never miss dumbbells at all. Even on daily basis, we need to lift that watering can once or twice a day. That is it, arms are already doing strength training and toning at the same time.

Effect of gardening on mental health

First of all, only those who love to be around plants and trees will choose gardening as their hobby. If gardening is a hobby, then hobby will never seem like a task to them. No matter how many hours they are spending in their gardens, and no matter how hard they are working, it will seem like a fun activity. It is the time when the mind is away from all sorts of worries and stress. The focus is completely on taking care of the garden. This kind of one-pointed focus increases the concentration power. It decreases stress. It increases the happy hormone cortisol. It decreases anxiety levels and improves mood. Gardening makes a person happy and contented, especially when in front of his eyes he can see the result of his hard work. Working without any anxiety and spending quality time in the garden make them enjoy good mental well-being.

Gardening does not mean that on the very first day, a person will achieve perfection. Gardening teaches so much. There will be mistakes and hiccups. Some plants may dry and die. Others will rot. Despite taking good care, some of them will be attacked by insects and others by various diseases. Some of them will not get enough sunlight and others enough shade, and all this happens because we were in our learning process. We learn, and we grow. Gardening teaches the growth mindset, and if applied in daily life, a person will never run off from his failures. Instead, he will learn to cope with his insecurities and failures and come up with various solutions.

Get slim and trim

Consumption of too many calories than required and then not working out will store those extra calories in the body as fat. Don't like to join a gym or a yoga class? No problem. Just go work with your plants and reduce that rigid fat from your body. The larger the garden is, the more work it requires. Gardening will demand walking to get things done. Walking is a type of exercise. Getting rid of weeds, ploughing, sowing, levelling, manuring, watering, protecting plants and taking care of them all require effort, and when one spends more and more time in the garden, one is bound to lose some weight. The best thing about losing weight through gardening is that losing weight does not seem like a workout. What can be better than spending time on what we love and at the same time keep losing weight?

Increase physical fitness

Gardening is an outdoor activity. Our busy schedule does not let us expose ourselves to enough sunlight. Consequently, we suffer from vitamin D deficiency. When vitamin D levels are low in the body, there will be inadequate absorption of calcium. Irrespective of how much amount of foods rich in calcium we consume, still, our body will show its deficiency because it is not absorbed in the right amount. Gardening enables us to get enough sunlight and replenish vitamin D in our bodies. Calcium easily gets absorbed. It leads to strong teeth and bones. Gardening also strengthens the immune system. It keeps diseases and disorders at bay. We all know that a lack of physical activity or exercise makes the body stiff. Gardening increases flexibility and makes it more active.

It keeps disorders at bay

Diabetes and blood pressure are the two disorders seen affecting almost everyone now a day. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels are not good. Moreover, once these disorders occur in the body, the health will never return to normal. The patient is prescribed insulin or oral drugs to control blood sugar levels and drugs to regulate blood pressure levels. Long-term intake of these drugs will produce ill-effects of these drugs on various parts of the body. Also, it is not right that these individuals should do some rigorous training in the gym. Yet, they require exercise in some form. Gardening comes to their rescue. It is a low-intensity kind of workout. They can spend some time in the garden nurturing plants, and as a result, their body gets exercised and their mind gets relaxed. If they dedicate their daily time to gardening, they may see a remarkable improvement in their physical health. Blood sugar and blood pressure level will remain normal, and their dependency on drugs will reduce. In their cases, gardening proves to be a therapy.

It brings joy

We care for our plants and gardens. Every day we spend some time watering our plants. As and when we get time, especially on weekends or once or twice a week, spend some time nurturing our plants. We sow seeds and bulbs. We bring beautiful plants and plant them in our flower pots or on the ground. We witness before our eyes, seeds growing into plants, and then comes the flowering season. We see beautiful flowers. We see vegetables and fruits growing. We observe a bud opening into a flower. It is all the fruit of our hard work. When we see how our little efforts have resulted in the creation of nothing to everything, it instils, confidence in us. We sense joy. Finding joy and contentment in little things in life teaches us gratitude. Why run after bigger things when we can seek the same amount of happiness through much simpler things?

Gardening facilitates organic produce

A few decades earlier, everything purchased was organic. The use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals was very little. However, now a day, we hardly find anything that is organic. Everything is polluted. We want to return to healthy eating. The first rule of healthy eating is to consume fresh and organic. However, it is so difficult to find organic produce now a day. Even if it is available, it is expensive. Not everyone can spend so much on their purchase. The best solution for this is to grow our produce. Those who have a garden can grow fresh fruits and vegetables in the soil. Those who do not can grow their produce in flower pots and keep them on the balcony where they will receive enough sunlight. Use natural fertilizers to speed up growth. In this way, our hobby will help to grow our fruits and vegetables. Eating healthy will keep our physical and mental well-being in good shape.

Conclusion

Gardening is more than it seems. It is not just a hobby but a passion for many. We may spend endless hours in their gardens. Yet, we may want to spend some more. It happens because we find it relaxing. It soothes our minds. Gardening calms it down and teaches mindfulness. It makes us happy and contented, and the joy that we find improves our mental health. Likewise, it decreases the extra weight of the body. It regulates blood glucose and blood pressure level. It makes the body fit and flexible and improves physical health. Moreover, it enables growing our produce. We reap so many benefits by just spending some quality time in our garden. Thus, make it a daily part of life and achieve numerous benefits.


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