Why gardening is good for you.
A Dutch study asked two groups to complete a stressful task. Afterwards, one group gardened for 30 minutes, while the other group read indoors. What did they discover?
At Engrave, we have a lot of garden decor and tools that will encourage indoor and outdoor gardeners. But before we introduce you to them, allow us to share with you some of the proven benefits of caring for plants.
A Dutch study asked two groups to complete a stressful task. Later, one group gardened for 30 minutes, while the other group read indoors. Not only did the gardening group report a more relaxed state of mind than the other, they also had measurably lower cortisol levels.
Cortisol, “the stress hormone”, may influence more than just mood: chronically elevated cortisol levels have been linked to everything from immune function to obesity to memory and learning problems and heart disease.
The growing field of “horticultural therapy” is giving proven results for patients with depression and other mental illnesses. The benefits appear to spring from a combination of physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and the satisfaction of the work. To build the therapeutic properties of your own garden, aim for a combination of food-producing, scented, and flowering plants to nourish all the senses. Add a comfortable seat so you can continue to bask in the garden while you rest from your labours. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and know your limits.
One long-term study followed nearly 3000 older adults for 16 years, tracking incidence of all kinds of dementia and assessing a variety of lifestyle factors. Researchers found daily gardening to represent the single biggest risk reduction for dementia, reducing incidence by 36%.
As we age, diminishing dexterity and strength in the hands can gradually narrow the range of activities that are possible or pleasurable. Gardening keeps those hand muscles vigorous and agile. Practice hand-healthy gardening by using a few simple warm-ups, positioning your body comfortably and ergonomically, and changing tasks frequently before strain becomes evident. Alternate use of your right and left hands to balance your body — using your non-dominant hand is one of many exercises to keep your brain functioning well as you age.
Green is caring
And it’s not just outdoor gardening that’s good for you. Viewing green plants in indoor living spaces can perk up your spirits and your sense of wellbeing too. Then the benefits of caring for a living plant, even a single houseplant, transcend green views. Studies show that caring for a plant has particular value for people facing challenging personal circumstances beyond their control that negatively affect physical and emotional health.
Now that you are aware why gardening is good for you, we invite you to introduce yourself to the beautiful things we have in store for your plants. Happy gardening!
Visit the Gardening Category on Engrave.