Garden Your Way To Better Health

The sensory experience of gardening gives a person the opportunity to get in tune with the primal side. While you may be able to comprehend the sensory experience it may not be the easiest to put into words.

Tending your garden has other perks as well. Your garden may provide a source of fresh  vegetables and can also ease stress, keep you limber, and even improve your overall mood.

Recent studies cite that gardening can decrease stress levels better than most other relaxing leisure activities.

Two groups were given stressful tasks, and after the tasks were performed they were instructed to either read or garden for 30 minutes. The group that gardened was found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies.

Trading your Apple Iphone for an Apple tree is a great way to combat stress and attention fatigue.  The ambiance of the natural environment and the repetitive, calming nature of many gardening tasks are all sources of effortless attention.

The ease and stress free nature of gardening may even help improve depression symptoms.  Studies show that people who spend at least six hours a week or more in the garden show a decrease in mood swings and bipolar disorders.  Some experts feel this increase in mood could be attributed to a bacteria (Mycobacterium vaccae) which is harmless and found in various soil types.  This bacteria has been shown to increase serotonin levels in mice the same as some drugs do.

Gardening provides a good excuse to get outside in the fresh air and all the digging provides for great blood flow and circulation. While gardening is no substitute for good cardio and resistance training. Digging, planting, weeding, and other tasks do provide for excellent forms of low-impact exercise, especially for people who find more  strenuous forms of exercise difficult, such as the elderly, those with disabilities, or someone who may suffer from chronic pain and arthritis.

The more pleasurable and goal-oriented the outdoor activity, the more people are likely to stick with it and do it often.

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