Gardening is much more than a fun hobby or productive way to pass the time. Did you know that all that time you spend outside potting around the garden is doing wonders for your health and well-being? There is no better soul food than being out in nature, especially as the weather starts to warm up.
So, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, dust the cobwebs off that garden spade and get digging this spring. Here’s how spending time in your garden will benefit you in the long run.
We have good news for those who enjoy spending hours in the garden! Gardening is considered moderate-intensity exercise and you can burn roughly 330 calories with one hour of light gardening. Beyond its caloric benefits, gardening can also help improve dexterity and strength, muscle mass and functional movement.
Gardening has been proven to lower stress levels, by minimising cortisol – our stress hormone. Even people without a green thumb can find a sense of calm, we’re sure of it. Along with stress reduction, gardening has been shown to help manage depression and anxiety, and has been used as a method of therapy in a number of cases.
3. Boost your mood
The act of growing plants brings about a sense of accomplishment and joy, and it’s no surprise that spending time in the sunlight lifts your spirits. Simply being surrounded by plants is enough to boost our serotonin levels, and people who grow their own food seem to take particular joy in tending to their plants.
4. Spend quality time with the family
You don’t need to garden or weed alone, nor should you. So, get the family involved and make a day out of it! Working in the garden together allows you to spend authentic, quality time together, and watching all of your plants grow makes the whole process even more meaningful, from start to finish. Plus, the kids will love getting their hands and clothes dirty!
5. Eat more fruit and vegetables
We all intend to eat healthier each month, but that doesn’t mean it always happens. The truth is, vegetables keep our body running smoothly and protect us from chronic diseases. And when you grow your own, you’re more likely to want to eat them!
In Cape Town, many of us are lucky to have a garden or a balcony, even if it’s a small one. If it’s inspiration you’re lacking, the City bowl is home to a range of quirky gardening shops to get you started. Between Happy By Nature, Folha and Plantify, you’ll have plenty of help transforming your home into a happy space. Go and get out there and get your hands dirty!