Gardens are beautiful. They are healthy too, including in ways you might not expect. Discover the benefits of growing plants.
6 Fantastic Health Benefits of Growing Plants
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The word “healthy” probably brings to mind the produce section at the grocery store, or the gym, or the doctor’s office. But take a look at your yard — it’s the healthiest place of all for you and your little ones. Get ready to get dirty, because here are six health benefits to growing a garden.
1. Gardening Keeps us Fit
Forget breaking a sweat at your local CrossFit gym. Gardening counts as moderate exercise, burning more than 300 calories an hour. That’s the average, and the calorie burn goes up the more you do. Digging around in the dirt will go a long way toward getting your kids the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise without you having to push them to move. You’ll have a great-looking garden, a slimmer waistline, and healthier kids.
Fall is the time of year to rake and plant bulbs that will blossom in the spring. It’s also the best time to apply fertilizer and pest control. Parental tip: Use natural or organic products that won’t hurt your children or pets.
Click to read also: Organic Gardening: Do You Have an Organic Garden?
2. Growing Plants are a Serious Mood Booster
A meta-analysis of studies from around the world shows that growing plants eases depression and anxiety. There’s a positive association between gardening and mental health, and who couldn’t use a mood boost? Digging around the garden may be just the mini-vacation you need.
Gardening also improves children’s mental health. Getting dirt under their nails may be one of the calm-down activities you do with your kids. You can count on it benefiting their brains, as well as your own.
3. Gardening Helps with Hypertension
Between the physical exercise and the mood-boosting benefits of growing plants, gardening lowers your blood pressure.
4. Growing Plants Decreases Your Risk of Developing Dementia – and May Help Relieve Symptoms
Gardens are a great way for kids and grandparents to spend quality time together, and it may protect the grandparent’s brain.
Tending to a garden full of plants is shown to help relieve dementia symptoms. It can also help reduce the risk of dementia before it sets in.
Growing plants is good for the entire family.
5. Gardening Helps Us Get Enough Vitamin D
MostAmericans spend too much time indoors, and this can lead to a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is crucial for kids who need it for bone development.
Growing plants means time out in the sunshine, with your body making all-natural vitamin D. Just don’t forget the sunscreen to filter out the harmful rays while your body soaks up the sunlight it needs.
6. Gardening Helps Us Eat Better
Your garden is the best locally sourced, farm-to-table food there is. Growing fruits and vegetables is a great way to eat healthier, and to get kids interested in eating more of what they’re helping to grow out in the garden. It’s super satisfying for your children to pick the veggies they grew and have a say in what they eat.
Choose fruits and veggies that you know your kids will like. Children need three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit a day. Motivate them by planting a pizza garden with tomatoes, basil, and oregano. Then, use the fruits of their labor to bake a pizza together.
Growing plants together plants the seed of a healthy lifestyle, a seed that will grow in the months and years to come. It’s a harvest your little ones will reap year after year, with habits any parent would be proud to pass on.
Do you garden? What benefits do you see in growing plants?
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Carmen Dexter is a former television journalist, mom, and teacher who enjoys growing her own organic food and recycling as much as possible.