Thomas Jefferson “I never before knew the full value of trees. Under them I breakfast, dine, write, read and receive my company”.
To be happy and balanced there are so many hobbies one can calculate. One such hobby, which most people love, is gardening. Whether it is winter, summer, spring or rainy season people who love plants always think about protecting their garden and plants. One way to be close to soil and earth is gardening at home or volunteering in organic farm or gardens. Studies have shown that gardening is good for health. You do not need invitation to visit plants. They do not answer back or complain and they give you flowers and fruits!
Gardening has many benefits. Beyond burning calories, gardening is good for the entire body. While gardening, we are reaching, stretching, bending, lifting and pulling, using both large and small muscles. It is especially beneficial if you rotate tasks, thus avoiding over-stressing any particular part of your body. Did you know how much calories one can burn while working in garden?
- Mowing the lawn pushing a power mower will burn 180 calories.
- Mowing the lawn pushing a push mower will burn 250 calories.
- Digging, spading and tilling soil will burn 200 calories
Another benefit is that exposing skin to sunrays that causes the skin to produce that good nutrient namely Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to keep the bones strong. Working in garden gives fresh air for breathing. The other benefit of gardening is – it can be a light, moderate or heavy exercise by our choice. Depending on our body requirement, we can choose how much we can work in our garden.
“Glory of gardening: Hands in dirt, head in the sun, Heart in the nature. To nurture the garden is just not to feed on the body, but the soul -Alfred Austin”.
“Plants do not answer back or complain and they give you flowers and fruits!”
Let us see how garden can help to keep our body and mind in good shape.
- It helps to prevent developing conditions like heart conditions, diabetes, blood pressure, obesity and even arthritis or osteoporosis.
- It also helps manage existing conditions, e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
- When we pull weeds in the garden, we need to bend- this improves balance, and reduces the risk of falling.
- Using small tools enhances flexibility, and helps with arthritis symptoms.
- Working around plants makes you feel better emotionally, reducing stress, improving sleep, and counteracting depression.Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacterium found in soils almost everywhere, stimulates production of norepinephrine and serotonin, just like antidepressant drugs do. In addition to the benefits of the M. vaccae, gardening increases neurotrophins throughout the entire brain, increasing mental health. It also reduces cortisol, which helps reduce stress.
- People who work in garden are more familiar with that pleasant odor that comes from soil after first sprinkle or drizzling. People who smell this feel happy and relieved! This is another reason to enjoy gardening. When rain falls, the increased moisture and the gentle pounding of the raindrops cause certain compounds to be released and combined in the air, one of them an odoriferous bacterium belongs to Actinomycetes generates substance called Geosmin.
- People who work with plants will develop an attachment with plants as they understand real meaning of living with plants. Plants may not express the pain, but their growth, fresh branches, blooming of buds and beautiful flowers, greenery around house, fruits and vegetables – all these give satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment for mind.
- A recent study in the Netherlands suggests that gardening can fight stress even better than other relaxing leisure activities. After completing a stressful task, two groups of people were instructed to either read indoors or work in garden for 30 minutes. Afterward, the group that gardened reported being in a better mood than the reading group, and they also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Apart from this keeping bird feeder, decorating garden and understanding about companion plants, other visitors like squirrels, humming birds, bees etc makes one very happy.
Remember The earth Laughs in flowers. When the flowers blooms in our garden our mind and body lives in harmony!