Gardening for a healthy body and mind
Your dream garden
When gardening we often focus on the end result. What we want is a luscious green lawn, a rich harvest of delicious produce and beds full of the most beautiful flowers. When walking through our local garden centre or browsing online we picture our dream garden, and we buy all the things we need to make our vision a reality. We get excited thinking about the joy we’ll feel when we look out of our windows at our immaculate grass, take that first bite out of our home-grown tomatoes or pick our first bouquet of tulips. Sure, sure, there’s some stuff we will need to do to turn our dreams into reality, but let’s not dwell on that.
In today’s blog we actually are going to dwell on that. On the time spent mowing your lawn, digging in the soil with your hands, removing weeds (oh those endless weeds), raking what feels like a whole forest of leaves, chasing away pests, planting bulbs on your knees and everything else that’s needed to get the garden you want.
If you ask keen gardeners about the secret to their amazing results, their answers always come back to the same thing: They enjoy the process. Nothing makes them happier than doing what is needed for that picture-perfect garden: They whistle when they are mowing, they smile when they are digging, they lovingly remove weeds and they delight in planting bulbs.
But what if you’re more of an indoorsy person? You have a clear mental image of your dream garden, but you are definitely not the whistle-while-you-weed sort of person. The thought of daffodils in spring delights you, but actually having to plant them makes you sigh a little. Maybe you do like being outside in the fresh air, surrounded by nature, but you also really like watching TV on the couch while eating your favorite snack. Or you’re a very busy working mom, and you simply don’t have the time for gardening.
Gardening is good for you
If you recognize yourself in any of the people in the last paragraph, I’ve got good news for you. Study after study has shown that gardening is extremely healthy for both your body and mind. You don’t need to be ‘the gardening-type’ to still profit immensely from your time spent working in nature.
The effect of nature
At the University of Texas Professor Roger Ulrich decided to conduct an experiment. First he put a group of people through a test that made them feel extremely stressed. He then split the group into two, and took one half to a location with lots of plants and trees, while the other half stayed in the test facility. The heart rates and blood pressure of the group taken into nature recovered much quicker than those of the people left behind. In another test it was shown that patients who recover in a room looking out over trees after their operation recover faster, need less pain killers, complain less and can go home sooner.
Burning those calories
And of course gardening is the original exercise. Tired of sweating in strip-lit gyms, surrounded by lycra, loud music and annoying mirrors? With gardening you burn an average of 350 calories per hour, while being surrounded by birdsong, sunlight and greenery.
Let the relaxing and toning benefits of gardening get you from a garden-dreamer to a garden-doer. The calories burnt while gardening will make you feel less guilty about those TV-and-snack-marathons. Planting bulbs during a beautiful fall day will actually diminish your working mom stress, and as an added bonus you can cross the gym off your to do list. To give you an extra incentive to start, why not pop over to our website and pick your favorite flowers to plant, and come spring you will be rewarded with a healthy body, a relaxed mind and a beautiful garden!