Did you know that 45 minutes of weeding can burn almost as many calories as 30 minutes of high-impact aerobics? In fact, gardening can help you reduce pain, improve mental health, and even protect your home. If you’ve been thinking about picking up a new hobby, there are plenty of reasons to try gardening and plenty of ways to get your hands in the dirt. Best of all, this spring is the perfect time to get started. Here are some of the great benefits of gardening, as well as ways to try out this beneficial hobby.
Physical Health Benefits of Gardening
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that you engage in 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity activity, such as gardening, every week. If you’re just starting out—either as an athlete or a gardener—you can garden in 10-minute sessions to reach 2.5 hours per week and still reap the same benefits, which include:
- Increased energy, heart rate and muscle strength
- Reduced risk for major diseases such as heart disease, obesity, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
- Relief from arthritic pain and stiffness
And don’t forget about the immune-boosting, bone-strengthening Vitamin D your body will make when you spend time outdoors. You can make all that you need just by spending 10-15 minutes outside on a sunny day without sunscreen a few times a week.
Furthermore, researchers have found that growing an edible garden can increase fruit and vegetable intake, especially in children. But even for adults, growing fresh veggies or herbs right outside the kitchen door or window can provide a nutritional boost with every harvest.