Running or going to the gym is consistently promoted by scientists and health experts as the best type of exercise. However, not everyone has this option. There are, however, other places to get a healthy dose of physical life, and certain people need to look at their property to find them. According to new findings, gardening more often is related to increased happiness, reduced depression, and increased physical activity.
(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
LISSE, NETHERLANDS – OCTOBER 12: A general view as Keukenhof gardeners plant flower bulbs in the ground at the Keukenhof Gardens on October 12, 2020, in Lisse, Netherlands. Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is preparing for the spring of 2021 and is planting between seven and seven and a half (7 to 7.5) million flower bulbs. The flower park should have been open to the public from late March until mid-May, with 1.5 million visitors expected to visit for the 2020 season. Around 6,000,000 visitors walk through the gardens annually, but it has been closed due to the national policy regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Gardening is a Form of Exercise, Experts Say
Gardening is for a lot more than just growing flowers and crops; it has a lot of other advantages as well. People will, for example, cultivate food and even herbal products to help them stay nourished and stable. They still encourage a healthy lifestyle and count as physical exercise.
An Intelligent Living article cited a report that claimed people who garden every day have 6.6 percent higher health ratings. People who garden also had 4.2 percent lower depression levels than people who do not garden at all.
The study, titled “Why Garden? – Attitudes and the Perceived Health Benefits of Home Gardening,” also said that gardening every day maximized the benefits of improved health and reduced stress levels.
Dr. Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, a wellbeing fellow at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the study’s lead author, said it’s the first time they evaluated the ‘dose reaction’ to gardening. She added the data overwhelmingly showed that the more often a person does gardening, the greater the health benefits.
“In fact gardening every day has the same positive impact on wellbeing than undertaking regular, vigorous exercise like cycling or running,” Dr. Chalmin-Pui said in a BBC report.
“When gardening, our brains are pleasantly distracted by nature around us. This shifts our focus away from ourselves and our stresses, thereby restoring our minds and reducing negative feelings,” she said in the same report.
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The same study said gardening regularly – at least two or three days a week – was linked to the greatest perceived health benefits.
Gardening was not primarily motivated by improving health but rather by the immediate enjoyment it gave to the participants.
Researchers added that gardening every day positively affects fitness as usual, just like cycling or running. People’s minds are happily overwhelmed by nature around them while gardening, researchers explained. This diverts the gardener’s attention away from themselves and their worries, restoring minds and reducing negative emotions.
Gardening is Beneficial to Body and Mind, Researchers Said
The research carried out by the RHS in conjunction with the Universities of Sheffield and Virginia also discovered that more frequent planting is also related to increased physical exercise. Hence, researchers proved that gardening is beneficial to both the body and the mind.
Gardening, according to Chalmin-Pui, is like easy exercise because it doesn’t seem as strenuous as, say, going to the gym so that we can exert equal amounts of energy.
Dr. Ross Cameron of the University of Sheffield, a co-author, said the study supported the importance of planting and gardens for emotional restoration and encouraging mental calmness.
“We also found a greater proportion of plants in the garden was linked with greater wellbeing, suggesting even just viewing “green” gardens may help,” she said in a House Beautiful report.
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