Many people may not consider digging around in the dirt a good time. Maybe when they were children, digging for worms was a fun activity, but now that they’ve grown there’s not much reason to get down in the dirt. However, consider the fact that active gardening and garden design can have a wealth of benefits beyond just the expected physical ones. Gardening is also great at relieving stress and promoting relaxation. So it’s no wonder that outdoor living market growth is expected to increase by a yearly rate of 3.5 percent between 2011 and 2016, by which time it should reach almost $220 billion. Part of this growth can be attributed to the gardening and healthy eating habits of First Lady Michelle Obama. Here are just a few of the ways planting some trees and shrubs and practicing garden design can benefit you.
Good garden design can do more than just make you healthier through exercise and fresh air. Being around plants and shrubs and flowers and trees can make you feel better about life in general. When asked to rate their satisfaction with life, older adults who gardened were much more likely to assign higher scores to areas in their life such as “zest for life,” levels of optimism, and overall resolution and fortitude. This means that getting out to gardening centers or a plant nursery could very well be more useful than any prescription antidepressant.
Even though garden designing has many advantages beyond getting exercise and fresh air, the benefits of daily exercise cannot be ignored. Specifically, gardening can increase the strength of your bones and lower your risk of osteoporosis. Gardening is very much like weight training in that it can help maintain flexibility and mobility, through walking, reaching, and bending, especially when digging or weeding. In fact, those who garden generally have lower rates of osteoporosis than joggers and swimmers.
An additional, perhaps unexpected, health benefit of gardening is that it may lower a person’s risk of diabetes. If you are worried about managing diabetes, gardening can provide you with enough daily physical to help lower your risk. Active gardeners get more than the recommended 150 minutes per week of exercise, and those who garden solely for pleasure get just under that. Additionally, having fresh produce around can be a great diabetes management tool. And in areas where there is not enough land or space to garden, there are generally lower rates of diabetes because of the recent rise in community gardening. Research more here: www.mcdonaldgardencenter.com