Finding a hobby that is beneficial, relaxing, and productive may seem like a hard thing to do, but believe it or not, gardening is the perfect hobby to fit these categories. Not only does a garden add appeal to a persons’ yard but gardening also comes with many benefits.
These benefits not only affect you but can affect your family and even the wildlife around your home. Throughout this article, we will dig into the top 9 benefits of gardening as a hobby. After you discover all of the amazing things that come with gardening, you will not want to pass it up!
Gardening Is Excellent for Your Health
One of the greatest benefits that come with choosing gardening as a hobby is the health benefits. Gardening not only benefits a person’s physical health, but it helps tremendously with mental health.
You might be tempted to pass this reason up since it seems so obvious; getting outside is always healthy, right?
What’s so special about gardening?
Well, it turns out that gardening comes with a long list of health benefits that you probably wouldn’t have thought of, including things like a decreased risk of dementia.
It is hard to imagine that planting a simple garden could come with so many advantages, but it will all make sense once we go over how it helps your heart, brain, immune system, and so much more!
Gardening Helps Your Heart
The first health benefit of gardening is that it makes your heart stronger.
This happens simply because gardening requires a person to walk around, bend down, pull things forcefully, sweat, dig, and so many more things.
All of these are a form of exercise that strengthens the heart and improves the way that the blood vessels function when the heart is under stress. A study has shown that some gardening can be categorized as a moderate form of exercise, but most gardening is low intensity, which is good enough.
Here are the things that happen when a person does only a little bit of low-intensity exercise:
- Blood pressure levels get lower
- Stamina increases
- The risk of heart attack and stroke decrease
Some of these health benefits may not seem like a great, big deal to some people, but anyone who has ever had high blood pressure, low stamina, or scary heart problems understands that just how important it is for the heart to be healthy.
Thankfully, gardening can be a great help to someone trying to get their health on the right track, while having a great time and gaining other amazing benefits all at the same time.
Gardening Is Good for Your Brain
The second amazing health benefit of gardening as a hobby is what it does for a person’s brain.
A study has shown that people that garden regularly can decrease their risk for dementia by 36 to 47%. So, what about gardening makes it good for your brain?
Gardening actually requires a person to do a little thinking and planning, such as:
- Plan what to plant together based on your aesthetic and gardening goals
- Pay attention to your plants to look for signs of illness or parasites
- Clean up and weed the garden regularly, which can be quite meditative
- Even in the offseason, you will be preparing the garden for planting later
These activities are simply problem-solving, critical thinking, and planning, all of which have been shown to help people’s brains as they get older.
Some people decide to learn new languages as hobbies, which is also good for the brain, but gardening can be just as beneficial and for many other reasons.
Gardening Boosts Immunity
Another health benefit of gardening as a hobby is that gardening can strengthen your immune system, which is something that every person should be mindful of.
Vitamin D, also known as the “Sunshine Vitamin,” is made in your skin once it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is responsible for making sure that you have a normal and healthy immune system.
You can also, of course, take in vitamin D by taking supplements and by eating certain foods like salmon, shrimp, and egg yolks, but a person that gardens regularly and eats a healthy diet will be taking in plenty of natural vitamin D to keep the immune system in good shape.
Another way that gardening boosts your immune system is by exposing your body to bacteria. Did you ever hear a doctor say that it’s good for small children to eat dirt because it helps their immune system?
It turns out that it is the truth! There is a theory called the Hygiene Hypothesis that states that the reason Americans are allergic to most things is that we keep things too clean. It almost shocks a person’s body to go without being around any kind of bacteria, allergens, and germs, then go into the world where those types of things are everywhere.
While a person is gardening, the amount of dust, mold, and spores that are stirred up by digging in the dirt exposes the body to these types of things. After a while, a person can build up a sort of immunity to it. It’s a good reason to get everyone in the family into gardening, especially the younger family members.
Gardening Is Fun Exercise
Most people really despise exercise. It can be repetitive, boring, and exhausting. Many people also struggle with finding time in the day to do it.
Unfortunately, exercise is a very important part of living a long, healthy life, so it is something that should not be avoided no matter what. As mentioned earlier, even a little bit of low-intensity exercise a few times a week can help the heart in major ways.
Gardening can be a fun type of exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. Sure, it definitely feels like hard work, but nothing like doing sets of crunches and push-ups—which is not only hard work but also super boring!
There are also other benefits that come with getting exercise, and here they are:
- You get stronger
- It makes you happier
- Anxiety and depression often decrease
- Your self-esteem gets higher
If you are thinking of taking up gardening as a way to lose a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time, then that is not likely to happen, unless, of course, you plan on planting a huge crop and doing all the work by hand.
Gardening is not an extreme form of exercise, but it is enough to be beneficial for your health in the long run, as long as you stick to it and do it regularly.
Gardening Relieves Stress
The last significant health benefit of gardening as a hobby is that it relieves stress.
Studies have shown that simply watching any kind of wildlife in its natural habitat for only 10 minutes can relieve stress—so imagine being in a garden that you built, every single day, watching the bees, butterflies, and birds enjoying the space with you.
Gardening is such an effective stress-reliever that it is actually a huge part of recovery for most addicts in rehabilitation centers.
Most addicts receiving help have high levels of anxiety, especially in the first steps of their programs. Recovering from an addiction can be the hardest and most stressful part of their lives.
A study showed that the addicts that chose gardening over a traditional recovery process had a higher success rate and were much more satisfied with the rehabilitation process, likely because of all of the health benefits that one gets from gardening.
If these health benefits that come with gardening as a hobby are not enough to convince you that you need to start gardening, then continue reading to discover even more benefits that you can gain from beginning a gardening journey.
Gardening Is Good for the Environment
This one seems obvious, but gardening is great for the environment. This seems a bit ridiculous at first glance; how could a tiny backyard garden have any effect on the global environment?
Plants, as you probably already know, make the air cleaner through the process of photosynthesis, where plants take in carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen back into the air. Having a few more plants around to help make the oxygen we need is hardly a bad thing.
However, the bigger benefit of a garden is on your immediate local ecosystem. We all know how the local wildlife often suffers when humans move into an area, and this is more true today than ever.
Having a garden in your backyard can help foster a healthier local ecosystem in your town or city by:
- Attracting pollinators like bees and giving them plenty of food
- Adding more biodiversity to the local area, which can attract natural wildlife back
- Giving traveling wildlife a safe stopover as they make their way across the city
With enough research, you can even learn to recycle many materials and food products around your home to help your garden grow, which can reduce the amount of waste and trash you send to a landfill!
Gardening Can Save You Money
The next benefit of gardening as a hobby is that gardening can save you some money on groceries, or more particularly produce, which we know can be very expensive at grocery stores and especially at places like Farmer’s Markets.
With your own supply of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, there will be no need to spend the extra money at stores to eat healthily. You can also rest easy knowing exactly what was put onto the product as it was growing, instead of living on fear of dangerous pesticides.
Another way you can save money is by learning to preserve your produce. If you can learn to can or jar the fruits and vegetables that you grow, then there will be no need to buy canned fruits at vegetables anymore. That even includes things like spaghetti sauce and salsa, not just green beans and corn.
If you are not interested in growing produce, then think of all the money you can save simply by growing your own plants.
You can pick your own flowers for special occasions where you would normally go to a florist, and you would not have to pay professional landscapers to make your yard look nice, which can really be expensive since they charge for labor plus materials.
While you may have to spend a little extra money to get your garden started and do a few extra things to ensure that the garden grows well and is protected from critters, in the long run, having your own garden pays off.
Gardening Encourages a Healthy Eating Lifestyle
Most of the more serious health problems in the developed world stem from being obese. It is not hard to believe when you think about how cheap fast-food restaurants are and how expensive healthy food can be.
Having a garden is a great way to encourage a healthy eating lifestyle, and it is a benefit of having a garden.
There will be more fresh fruits and vegetables in your home when you have your own garden, and you will feel a responsibility not to waste it since you put a lot of elbow grease into growing it.
Another thing that some people may not realize is that home-grown produce tastes much different and better than produce that you can get in the store.
This is because, at your home in your own garden, the produce is picked right off of the vine, tree, or bush and goes straight to your kitchen rather than it being shipped in cold trucks for thousands of miles for days before anyone gets the chance to buy it.
Gardening Can Make You Feel Better About Yourself
The last benefit of gardening as a hobby is that it can boost your self-esteem.
Not only does it give you a good workout when you are working in the garden, but it also gives you responsibility. It is something that you must maintain, otherwise, you have wasted your own time and money.
For most people, there is also something rewarding and satisfying about sustaining themselves without being completely dependent on corporations to survive. It really is a sense of accomplishment to know that you would not need a grocery store if things went bad.
With all of these benefits, it is no wonder that over 70 million households in the United States do some type of gardening on a regular basis.
Is Gardening a Good Hobby for You?
A good hobby is something that can be done cheaply and in your spare time. Gardening can be just that. A garden can be as big or as little as you would like for it to be so that it can be the perfect activity for the amount of free time that you have:
- If you have tons of free time, maybe you are retired or a stay-at-home parent, then you can make a garden that allows you to spend a lot of time in it, giving you something to keep you busy.
- If you do not have much free time, you can have a small garden. It does not actually even have to be a garden like you are picturing in your mind. You could have a few flowerpots set up in your yard with just a couple of vegetables or maybe some flowers that would not take up much time to care for.
A garden also does not have to contain plants that need a lot of maintenance.
Instead of products that take a lot of attention, you could plant flowers and shrubs. Some people even have cactus gardens! These types of gardens, aside from the cactus garden, would only require you to water them once a day, which can still be beneficial to your health and well-being.
You will be outside in the fresh air and sunlight which is some of the best medicine you can have after a long, hard day at work.
In conclusion, having any kind of hobby is a good thing. While there is an endless number of hobbies a person could choose from, gardening is one of the most beneficial.
Gardening is excellent for your health, a great stress reliever, good for the environment, and the perfect money-saver. The health benefits of gardening are equal to daily exercise without doing repetitive, strenuous workouts.
Hobbies are a pretty important part of having a good, healthy life. They provide a way for people to relax and get away from the stresses of everyday life, while, at the same time, giving people something productive to do, rather than sit idle—which can be a bad thing for many reasons.
So, it’s really saying something that gardening is one of the best hobbies you can have. It can be a great way to bond with your family since anybody of any age can do it and you will all get some extraordinary benefits from doing so!
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