Alicia DeVore

The Physical Benefits of Gardening

There’s more to get out of gardening than just growing organic food. Don’t get me wrong, I love grabbing fresh, organic food all through the year from my backyard garden to use in homemade meals. The ease, taste, nutrients, and health benefits of gardening are amazing benefits.

But I’m here to tell you, that gardening is more than just growing organic, fresh food. There are so many benefits of gardening that don’t include food at all. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of gardening one plant at at time.

Gardening for Mental Health

Tending to Your Garden and Your Mind

There’s something incredibly soothing about the act of gardening. It’s not just about beautifying our surroundings or harvesting our own food—it’s also a deeply therapeutic activity that can play a significant role in managing our mental health. If you’ve been feeling the weight of stress or the shadows of anxiety, turning to your garden could be a beautiful, natural way to find relief and joy.

A Natural Stress Reliever

Did you know that spending time among plants and getting your hands dirty in the soil can work wonders for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety? It’s true! Gardening offers a healthy distraction from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, allowing us to focus on the simple pleasures of nurturing growth. This connection with living things helps us step away from our worries and immerse ourselves in the moment, providing a natural and gentle form of mindfulness.

“Engaging in gardening activities can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve mood, and increase life satisfaction by fostering a sense of achievement and purpose.” – Journal of Health Psychology

The benefits don’t stop there. The physical activity involved in gardening—from digging to planting to weeding—is not only good for our bodies and bones but also incredibly beneficial for our minds. This kind of gentle exercise releases endorphins, our body’s natural stress-relievers, improving our mood and making us feel more relaxed and happy. It’s like hitting a mental reset button, surrounded by the tranquility of nature.

Cultivating Pride and Joy

Beyond the physical and emotional relief, gardening offers a unique sense of accomplishment. Watching something grow from a tiny seed to a flourishing plant under your care is nothing short of magical. Whether it’s a sprawling vegetable garden or a single potted plant on your windowsill, the pride of nurturing life and perhaps even growing your own food is a powerful boost to your mental well-being.

Imagine the satisfaction of cooking a meal with herbs and vegetables you’ve grown yourself, or the joy of seeing flowers bloom through your efforts. These accomplishments reinforce and promote a positive mindset, reminding us of our capabilities and resilience. Gardening teaches us patience, persistence, and ultimately, the reward of hard work—a valuable lesson that impacts not just our garden, but also our approach to personal challenges.

Your Garden, Your Sanctuary

Your garden, no matter the size, can become your safe space—a place where stress and anxiety are replaced with peace, joy, and a deep sense of well-being. It’s an invitation to slow down, reconnect with nature, and take care of both your physical space and your inner self.

The Therapeutic Power of Nature

Time in Nature and Its Impact on Well-being

Isn’t it amazing how a little time outdoors can make us feel so much better? Nature has a wonderful way of wrapping us in its serene beauty, offering a soothing balm for both body and soul. Whether it’s a quiet walk in the park, a leisurely hike through the woods, or just a few moments spent in a garden, being surrounded by nature can significantly increase and uplift our well-being.

“Exposure to green spaces and gardening activities can strengthen the immune system by increasing the body’s production of Vitamin D and reducing chronic inflammation.” – National Institutes of Health (NIH)

A Breath of Fresh Air for Your Health

Stepping outside introduces a host of benefits for our physical and mental health. It’s like nature is a natural stress reliever, working its quiet peace to melt away our worries and anxieties. But the goodness doesn’t stop there; being immersed in green spaces can also give our physical health a boost.

Have you noticed how a stroll among trees can make your digestion feel better, or how breathing in that pure, fresh air seems to invigorate your whole system? That’s nature at work! It improves our immune response, enriches our blood with oxygen, and can even help lower blood pressure.

And then there’s the sunshine – nature’s very own vitamin dispenser. Basking in the gentle warmth of the sun not only brightens our mood but also helps our bodies produce vitamin D. This essential nutrient plays a crucial role in bone health, immune function, and overall well-being. It’s as if the sun itself is reminding us to soak up life, one ray at an hour at a time.

Nature’s Prescription for Happiness

The connection between humans and nature is profound. Just like plants lean towards the light, we gravitate towards the outdoors for that feeling of peace and rejuvenation. Nature doesn’t rush; it follows its rhythm, and being a part of that rhythm, even for a short while, reminds us to slow down and appreciate and enjoy the small wonders around us.

In this fast-paced world, where screens often dominate our attention, making time to unplug and step outside can be incredibly rewarding. It’s a simple yet effective way to recharge our mental batteries, inspire creativity, and find a sense of balance.

Nature is always there, ready to show off its therapeutic power, inviting us to take a deep breath and relax into its healing embrace. Whether it’s the gentle rustle of leaves, the cheerful chirp of birds, or the calming sight of a river meandering through a forest, every element of nature whispers a message of calm and resilience.

The Blossoming Benefits of Social Connections

Did you know that building social connections through gardening can do wonders for your health and happiness? It’s true! Engaging in community gardening activities can help reduce stress, elevate our mood, and bolster our resilience against life’s challenges. The simple act of being part of a gardening community can give us a profound sense of well-being and satisfaction.

At the community garden I run, we encourage parents and grandparents to bring their kids to experience growing together. These monthly community garden times are precious as kids, no matter their age, are experiencing life outside the computer or phone.

These connections are vital; they root for us in our communities and remind us that we’re part of something larger than ourselves. In a world that often feels too fast and too isolated, finding solace and joy in a shared patch of dirt and greenery can be incredibly grounding.

“Community gardening has been linked to increased social cohesion and improved mental health outcomes, fostering a sense of community and belonging.” – American Journal of Community Psychology

A Call to Cultivate Community

Every plant, every flower, and every vegetable grown together becomes a testament to what we can achieve when we come together. In the end, community gardening is about planting seeds of friendship and watching them blossom into something beautiful. It’s an invitation to join hands (and hearts) with those around you, cultivating not just a garden, but a community rooted in care, respect, and love.

A Natural Workout for a Healthy Weight

Think of gardening as nature’s gym. Those garden tasks like digging and pulling weeds are actually great forms of low-impact exercise. They can help you burn calories, build muscle, and improve your endurance.

Plus, the best part is it doesn’t feel like a workout because you’re engrossed in the nurturing care of your garden. Before you know it, you’ve clocked in some solid physical activity, contributing to a healthier weight and better physical health overall.

Heart Health and Beyond

Besides helping you manage your weight, the gentle physical exercise you get from gardening can also keep your heart happy by contributing to healthy blood pressure levels. It’s a win-win; your garden blooms and your heart benefits.

Gardening also encourages healthy eating habits by providing access to fresh, pesticide-free produce and promoting the consumption of a variety diet of fruits and vegetables. Engaging regularly with your greens can lead to improvements in your overall physical health, making gardening a heart-friendly activity.

Joyful Movement

Gardening brings joy and movement together, making it a delightful way to contribute to your health goals. Whether you’re tending to a full plot of sprawling garden or caring for a collection of pots on your balcony, every bit of activity counts

Planting Your Dreams: How to Start Your Own Garden Beds

Venturing into the world of gardening is like opening a book filled with greenery, growth, and gratification. If you’re thinking about creating your own garden beds, you’re about to start on a wonderfully fulfilling journey. Here are some friendly tips to help you get started and ensure your gardening adventure is as joyful and rewarding as possible.

Begin With Baby Steps

Starting a garden doesn’t mean you have to go all out right away. It’s perfectly okay—actually, it’s recommended—to start small. Why not kick things off with a few easy-to-grow plants? Tomatoes, for instance, are eager to grow with just a bit of encouragement, and herbs like basil or cilantro are almost like friendly neighbors, ready to spruce up your meals with minimal fuss. Starting small gives you the chance to get to know each plant’s personality and needs without feeling overwhelmed.

Finding the Perfect Spot

Every plant dreams of that perfect spot to soak up the sun and sip on just the right amount of water. When choosing a location for your garden beds, look for a sunny spot that basks in at least six hours of sunlight a day. This sunbathing is crucial for your plants to thrive and burst into their full glory. Equally important is good drainage—roots need to breathe too, and they can’t do that if they’re always swimming in water. A well-drained spot ensures that while your plants stay hydrated, they aren’t waterlogged.

Lean on the Green Community

Remember, gardening is a shared adventure, and there’s a whole community of fellow green thumbs out there. There is a monthly Green Thumb Gardening Club that Create My Garden has just to support and help you garden through each season. Check it out here to get two LIVE Q and A sessions where you can get the support needed plus learn what to do for each season.

Patience is Part of the Process

Perhaps the most important tip of all is to be patient with yourself and your garden. Plants grow at their own pace, and so will your skills and knowledge as a gardener. There will be successes and setbacks, but each is a step in your gardening journey. Celebrating the small victories, like the sprout of a new seedling or the harvest of your first tomato, is part of the joy of gardening.

The Broader Impact of Health Gardening

Cultivating Well-being: The Wholesome Impact of Gardening on Health

Gardening is much more than a hobby; it’s a pathway to enhancing our overall health and well-being. When we immerse ourselves in the act of growing plants, we’re not just cultivating our gardens but also nurturing our health and well-being in profound ways. From the mental satisfaction of harvesting your own produce to the physical benefits of being active outdoors, gardening touches our lives deeply.

A Harvest for the Mind

There’s something incredibly rewarding about watching something grow from a seed to a flourishing plant under your care. This process can significantly boost your mental health, providing a deep sense of accomplishment and pride. Imagine biting into a ripe tomato or seasoning your meal with herbs you’ve grown yourself. This connection to your food and the earth fosters a sense of well-being and satisfaction that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Gardening also offers a meditative quality, helping to reduce stress and anxiety through its repetitive tasks and the gentle focus required. It encourages us to live in the moment, appreciating the beauty and bounty of nature. For many, the garden is a serene retreat where worries fade away, replaced by peace and clarity.

A Dose of Natural Health

On the physical side, gardening gets you moving and grooving in the great outdoors. It’s an enjoyable way to engage in physical activity, which can help improve mobility and flexibility, especially important as we age. Plus, being outside means soaking up vitamin D from the sun – a crucial element for bone health, immune function, and mood improvement.

Regular gardening activities, such as digging, planting, and weeding, can also contribute to reducing blood pressure and promoting heart health. It’s a gentle workout with significant benefits, including strengthening your hands and fingers, which research show is particularly beneficial for individuals with limited mobility or dexterity.

Gardening for Everyone

The beauty of gardening is that it’s accessible to almost everyone, regardless of age or ability. For individuals facing challenges with mobility or dexterity, raised garden beds or container gardening can make this activity more accessible, offering the opportunity for a sense of independence and fulfillment. Gardening can be adapted to fit individual needs, ensuring that everyone can experience the joy and health benefits it brings.

A Purpose Grown from the Ground Up

Beyond the physical and mental health advantages, gardening can provide a valuable sense of purpose. For those who might feel limited by physical conditions, gardening offers a meaningful way to contribute, create, and connect.

It’s about more than just tending to plants; it’s about nurturing life and witnessing the impact of one’s efforts bloom. Gardening is a testament to the resilience and growth we are all capable of, reminding us that we too can flourish with a bit of care and patience.

In every seed planted, there’s potential for future growth—not just for the plants, but for ourselves too. Gardening invites us into a world of healthful benefits, teaching us lessons in care, persistence, and the joy of reaping what we sow. Whether you’re gardening for food, beauty, or simply the pleasure of being outdoors, the effects ripple through your life, enriching your health and happiness.

Other Resources from Create My Garden:

Discover the Power of Health Gardening: Boost Your Well-being Today

10 Life Skills Teens Learn from Growing a Garden

How to Start a New Garden Successfully in your Backyard

8 Underestimated Life Skills with Family Gardening Activities for Kids

Learn Home Gardening with the Best and Most Useful Resource Books Available

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About the Author

Alicia has been teaching her whole life from elementary teacher to workshops for beginning gardeners.  Go HERE to read Alicia's story into gardening from plant killer to pro grower and garden coach.  If you want to send Alicia a quick message, then use her contact page HERE.

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