Gardening Health Benefits: How A Green Environment Improves Your LifestylePublished: 09/11/2022 | Updated: 29/03/2023
Connecting With Nature
I've been recently advised to add houseplants to my working space.
As someone familiar with the study conducted that showed plants in a working space can reduce stress and increase productivity by 15%, and as a plant lover, I took it as a challenge to see if I'll actually notice any significant difference in my mental health and productivity during my working hours.
While adding plants didn't completely get rid of all my stress, it did significantly change the way I'd feel while under work pressure, which in turn, did raise my productivity rate.
This little experiment gave me a great perspective. It was like a little reminder that I'm a part of a bigger whole, and this thought truly helps you relax.
Working with ShrubHub, I was introduced to different types of plants I wasn't familiar with before, which made me fall further in love with the diversity of nature and the art of developing my own outdoor space.
This piece will focus on the effects of gardening on your mental and physical health, as well as tips to get you started on your gardening journey.
Your Brain on Plants
It's evident that nature has massive effects on the brain and in turn our behavior and psychological health.
Our brains are naturally drawn to nature. the first thought that comes to mind when we need a break is to go for a walk and get fresh air.
And though it's something that we naturally feel, long- and short-term studies conducted by researchers have further enhanced this concept.
It has been proven that being in greener areas decreases mental distress which helps with stress relief.
In a study conducted by Stanford researchers in 2015, it was revealed that study participants who walked through green parks on daily strolls had calmer brains than those who walked through busy streets.
This was determined by examining their brain activity and noticing less activity in their subgenual prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain associated with anxiety, depression, and mood disorders.
Studies like these help urban designers know the importance of community gardens and green spaces on public health.
Nature and gardening also have a great positive impact on physical health, which in turn results in improved mental health.
Physical and mental health benefits of gardening activities
Decreased heart rate: Just being outside in your garden helps lower your heart rate which helps you take slower breaths and hit pause on negative brain activity.
Being in the sun: Garden activities bring you outside in the sun! Sunlight has a ton of health benefits, the most commonly known one being that it's a vital source of vitamin d.
Studies found that sun exposure increases dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain, both being hormones associated with good moods and mental well-being.
Decreased blood pressure: Being outside in the sunlight lowers blood pressure which helps the brain feel more relaxed and takes it off fight or flight mode.
Nervous system health: Just playing with the soil for a short period of time, researchers were able to see a shift in the parasympathetic nervous system activity.
Exercise benefits: Gardening activities are considered a form of moderate exercise.
A study on public health showed that people who participated in community gardening had a decreased body mass index which is a similar effect to that of exercise.
Disconnect and Reconnect
We are now living in a world where we're constantly exposed to screens, an hour away from our phones can make us feel disconnected.
Apparently, adults check their phones every 10 minutes and on average we're on our phones 5 hours a day which can add up to seven days a month.
The blue light from screens causes headaches and sleep disorders and can enhance the feeling of anxiety.
Though this feeling of being disconnected from the world when away from our phones can be turned into a positive feeling of taking a break and reconnecting with nature.
Reconnecting with nature will result in great health outcomes, a better immune system, increased physical activity, and great mental benefits.
Tips for gardening beginners:
Now, we realize that getting started on gardening activities can be a bit overwhelming.
Here are some tips from our garden experts to help you have a successful gardening journey.
Getting started with only a few planters and a few crops will help you be more focused on them, which will result in successful gardening.
This will also help you be more consistent and less overwhelmed since you won't have a lot to maintain or worry about.
Go for the best soil:
When you're first getting started on gardening, you want to ensure that your first patch is a successful one since that's what will encourage you to keep going.
Choosing great soil will make your life easier and will help your plants thrive without a ton of maintenance on your end.
Make sure you're choosing a wise location.
Place your garden beds in an area that gets a fair amount of direct sunlight exposure.
Choose easy-to-grow plants:
It's best to start with plants that are easy to plant and grow since they'll keep you motivated. Herbs are a great example.
Benefits of vegetable gardens and growing your own food
Will help you eat healthier: Starting your own vegetable garden covers all the health benefits we already went over, but on top of that, research showed that those who garden and grow their own crops are more likely to eat vegetables than people who don't.
Productive hobby: Gardening is a fruitful hobby that will provide you with crops, fresh veggies, and kitchen essentials. So, you're both spending time in nature and cutting back your grocery expenses.
The power of movement: spending time gardening will increase your physical activity, and this reduces the risk of chronic diseases and premature death.
Environment benefits: Gardening enhances sustainability and awareness of natural resources.
So, while you're enjoying all the benefits that come with gardening, you'll be also giving back to the planet.
ShrubHub Gardening Experts
Gardening is an eye-opening experience that changed me personally and gave me perspective on the benefits of reconnecting with nature.
As a homeowner, you have the chance to create your own private garden to enjoy all these benefits from home.
If you're looking to start developing your outdoor space, ShrubHub is just the right service for you.
No matter what space size, nature, and circumstances you have, our ShrubHub gardening experts will find the right plants and garden features for you.
Visit ShrubHub.com and get started on your own private oasis!