Health benefits of gardening

Dilip Razdan
Interaction with the natural environments offers a wide range of health benefits. Gardening is one of the main sources of interacting with nature and has very positive effects on health.
Planting vegetables and flowers is altogether a different level of happiness and satisfaction. It is not just decorating our homes but it also helps us stabilizing our mood and health. It is one of the healthiest hobbies one can develop.
Health has been defined as a state of complete physical , mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, we interpret ‘health’ in a broad sense to include physical and psychological wellbeing. Thus health is a state not solely absence of symptoms associated with chronic illness just as depression, anxiety, obesity but include the presence of positive emotions just as quality of life, life satisfaction, happiness. Further urban living is associated with various adverse health consequences, such as high-fat-diets, increased levels of social-psychological stress and environmental pollutants.
The exposure to plants and green space and particularly to gardening is beneficial to mental and physical health. There are studies which strongly suggest that:
Gardening reduces stress.
Gardening offers an opportunity to interact with nature. The beauty of nature is a great stress reliever in itself. Besides, planting a beautiful garden can be a great way to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. The fact is also that physical activity reduces the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
Gardening boosts Vitamin D level.
Gardening involves the activity by which we get exposure to Sunlight. Sunlight lowers blood pressure as well as can give boost of Vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight help older adults achieve adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Vitamin D can help our body to absorb calcium. This helps us to keep our bones strong and immune system healthy.
Gardening helps to burn calories.
Working in the garden restores strength and the exercise that is involved can easily use the same number of calories as might be expended in the Gym. Gym-based exercise can be expensive, but, gardening offers cheap and universal means to improve health. Even simply walking through green spaces could be helpful in preventing and treating ill health.
Gardening decreases dementia risk.
Gardening could lower risk of dementia by certain per cent. Gardening activities may spur growth in our brain’s memory related nerve.
Therapeutic gardens have been used in hospitals for thousands of years as they improve the surroundings for patients, visitors and staff. Also gardens around prisons have history of improving the lives of the prisoners and offering training towards employment in the horticulture.
Gardening Combats Climate Change.
Climate change is assuming serious threat to our planet. Factories, cars, and planes burn fuels for energy, releasing carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere and warms up the climate. Trees and plants are capable of draining out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So by planting trees in our garden, entering of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be prevented as the plants absorb carbon dioxide in their photosynthesis process and release oxygen.
Apart from above benefits, gardening during pandemic helped us to cope with social isolation and loneliness. The eruption of COVID-19 led governments globally to impose lockdowns to contain transmission of the pandemic. The steps taken include social distancing and self isolation. Such restrictions had some impacts on people’s psychological and physical wellbeing. Domestic gardening not only gives us the opportunity to interact with nature but also create a chance of coming closer with family members and thereby we could cope with self isolation.
Everyone is born with green thumb and this means that everyone has a skill for gardening. Gardening necessarily does not require a big piece of land , one can go for domestic gardening with a small piece of land.