Posted on 28 January 2009 by

Grow a Garden, Gain Health

harvesting-radishes-in-the-gardenBy Vanessa Richins

As we begin another new year, many resolutions are being made.

A main goal for many is to improve their health and lose weight.

As you may have suspected, gardening is an excellent method of exercise with many other health benefits.

Gardening is good for the body. Exercises like jogging and aerobics can sometimes be too stressful for a person’s joints.

A study discussed by the Virginia Cooperative Extension shows that gardening is also a challenging workout, but carries less stress than many exercise activities. For example, raking leaves and planting seeds uses the same effort as bicycling (less than 10 mph). Light shoveling is the equivalent of doing aerobics.

An added bonus with vegetable and fruit gardening is the fresh produce, usually regarded as an essential part of any weight loss plan.

However, there are more benefits to gardening than just exercise and losing weight.

As this article in the Knox News mentions, “Studies have shown that gardening can actually lower blood pressure and cholesterol or prevent diabetes, heart disease, depression, and osteoporosis when practiced on a regular basis…Another great benefit, according to a study from the University of Arkansas, is that people who garden atleast once a week have higher bone density than those who swim, jog, walk or do aerobics.”

I know personally that the times I have had full time gardening jobs were when I felt the healthiest in my life.

What benefits have you found in your own life?

9 Responses to “Grow a Garden, Gain Health”

  1. David Says:

    “As you may have suspected, gardening is an excellent method of exercise with many other health benefits.”

    My family has had gardens going since I was a little boy. Sometimes more like a “truck garden” – we raised things for sale.

    Hard, but good for you work, very rewarding and put a lot of good, nutritious food on the table, which builds health.

  2. James Says:

    We go in for “allottments” here in the UK which are small plots of land, normally on a large patch of common ground. I have owned an allottment now for 10 years and find getting out in the sun and fresh air blows the cobwebs away in no time.

    Great for the heart, muscles and brain. And we get to eat organic vegetables as well. My wife loves them (and I have to be honest that gardening gives me a much needed break from the missus sometimes) – only joking.

    James Westerly,
    Avid gardner and sometime nutrition webmaster at: how to get rid of spots

  3. Jeannie Says:

    “a challenging workout, but carries less stress than many exercise activities.”

    I love gardening. I love being outside, listening to the birds, planting and seeing my things grow. Next thing you know, there are some vegies to harvest – good, healthy, ripe vegetables. Not this half ripe stuff in the store most of the time.

    I don’t think about the exercise involved, when it is such a delightful experience. But the exercise is quite important too.

  4. Steven Bancroft Says:

    Gardening is terrific exercise AND activity for a healthy mind. It’s the nurturing aspect of it that renders it so enjoyable. It’s very gratifying to watch your efforts grow and bloom year in and year out.

    When my siblings and I were quite young, my mom (an avid gardener) bought us all our own flowers and saplings and gave us each a small plot of our home’s garden which we managed and tended. It was a lot of fun. I strongly recommend this for anyone with young kids – we thought it was fantastic.

  5. Dianne cris Becker Says:

    I will agree that gardening is another form of exercise and on top of that, gardening can bring lots of positive effects not to ourselves alone but to the environment as well.

  6. Gavin Says:

    The reason I keep a vegetable plot going, is that at the end of the day after sitting at a desk, I find getting my hands dirty and pottering about, totally relaxing and has the added bonus of growing veg and fruit that I use daily.

  7. Valerie H. Taylor Says:

    i love gardening. its a great stress relief.

  8. Emmitt Hollin Says:

    Gardening is the only time when I get so “in the zone” that I lose track of time, I forget how hot or hungry I am, I just keep on going. It’s exercise and meditation at the same time. I also love “having gardened”. Few things are as satisfying as co-creating a garden with nature.

  9. Tay Says:

    There is nothing like working hard in the garden, then relaxing with a glass of cold iced tea admiring my hard work!

Leave a Reply

Recent Comments