gardening for health

The Surprising Benefits of Gardening for Health and Wellbeing

Many people garden to have fresh produce – and that’s a wonderful thing. But gardening offers so much for self-care and wellness too!

Gardening allows you to enjoy watching a little seed turn into a tomato, carrot, potato, or lettuce.

Plus, it feels good to get your hands dirty – for many people, it feels so good to put their hands in the dirt – they choose not to wear gloves.

Now might be the perfect time to start gardening for health.

  • Your garden can be an outdoor gym.
  • It can be your sanctuary for stress release or a quiet place to clear your mind.
  • And, it’s another way to connect to the Lord.

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Enjoy A Green Gym

Depending on the garden size, even if you don’t like to exercise, you can move a little or a lot.

For those who have a lot of space, an in-ground garden offers the opportunity to walk, bend, push, pull, and lift. You will get plenty of exercise working in your garden.

But raised-bed, box gardens, rock gardens, or even those who garden with potted plants will find multiple opportunities to be more active.

Suppose you need to keep your movement level down; choosing low-maintenance plants (whether vegetables, fruits, or flowers) will help. But even a little bending, stretching, and turning will improve your flexibility.

Reaching and digging provide simple movements to give your muscles a gentle (or intense) workout.

And don’t forget about walking!

You’ll need to walk around the garden area, and you’ll need to bring tools and supplies to and from your garden equipment storage area.

Finally, while pulling weeds can be cathartic and a way to exercise, it’s also a great way to relieve stress.

Gardening for Health Provides Relaxation

Gardening can be your sanctuary for relaxation, with nature at your side. It’s a healthy way to reset your mind, or even zone out a little but still feel like you’re doing something productive.

Plant low maintenance things if you want to garden for relaxation. Easy flowers, succulents, or herbs are relaxing to plant and rewarding to see grow!

 Interestingly, you don’t have to garden physically to enjoy the calming respite from gardening. You can remember or think about gardening to relax.

If you’ve grown up with grandparents or parents who gardened, it’s relaxing to remember the work and love your family put into growing things to eat (as well as preserving them). 

And, if you grew up on a farm, the smell of the soil will flood your mind with pleasant memories of plowing the fields and gardening with your family.

A Balance of Art & Science

You can be a real amateur and not care about everything coming out perfectly. Sometimes you fail, but that makes the successes sweeter.

Gardening is about experimenting, watching something come to life, and literally enjoying the fruits of your labor. You can try different types of gardening, diverse plants, or offbeat varieties.

If you enjoy science, gardening can also stimulate your mind and provide you with learning opportunities. You can learn a lot of fun things if you want to compost or avoid using pesticides.

You can also enjoy admiring the space you’ve created – whether it’s food or beautiful flowers.

Gardening for Self-care Brings Spiritual Connection

Life began in the garden, so it makes sense that gardening has a spiritual component to it. From improving the soil to planting to trimming and pruning, harvesting, and just enjoying watching as things grow!

It can serve as a reminder of God’s goodness – He is the master gardener. God sends the rain for our garden to grow. You’ll get to see the flowers grow and experience the spring’s excitement to see first growth come through the soil.

For some, it’s a labor of love and service, and then gifting to others.

  1. You can preserve your produce, make pickles or jelly, and then feel good, giving them to friends and family as Christmas or birthday gifts.
  2. You can even make a garden itself BE the gift through helping a non-profit organization or neighbor set up and maintain a garden.
  3. And, even though you may not be a fan of eating certain fruits or vegetables, you can still put them in the garden and nurture them because the person you love enjoys eating them.

Don’t Forget the Harvest

Gardening for health is a hobby that reaps a bountiful harvest. Whether you grow vegetables, fruit, herbs, or any variety of flower, hopefully you’ll have the opportunity to harvest something wonderful by the end of the growing season.

Having a garden and flower garden is very rewarding. It may be a lot of work at times, but it’s worth it. Especially in the winter, when you go to the freezer and pull out blueberries or green beans, etc… that you grew.

Even if you don’t appreciate all of the mentioned self-care benefits of having a garden, having fresh produce – without pesticides – will make you happy, to make gardening a definite win!

In closing, whether you are gardening for wellness, the produce, or both, you can’t go wrong when you choose to start gardening for self-care.

Lisa Kimrey is a speaker and the author of the Bible study, The Self-care Impact: Motivation and Inspiration for Wellness. An RN for 28 years, Lisa writes about helping people care for their lives as they serve and care for others at Lisa finds joy by assisting people to improve their self-care to feel better and serve the Lord at their highest capacity. Get a FREE 5-day Bible study, Be Well Through Worship: Motivation for Self-care. Connect with Lisa on Pinterest and Facebook.  

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