Good morning! Here’s hoping the weather is really great in your neck of the woods. Speaking of warmer days, at the close of our office visits, I love talking with my patients about how they like to stay active. As you would guess, this time of year ‘gardening’ is a very common response.
Well, that is fantastic because gardening is a great activity.
It got me thinking, oh gardening, how I love thee, let me count the ways.
It makes us feel better – in this study from the Netherlands, they found that the group that spent 30 minutes gardening after a stressful activity reduced stress hormone levels (cortisol) much more than another relaxing activity, reading inside. Nature. Nature. Nature.
Improved diet: The best way to get our vitamins and fiber is straight from our food. People who garden tend to eat better than those who eat Taco Bell, I mean don’t garden. Fruits and vegetables are of course very Mediterranean diet-esque. We talked about the Mediterranean diet on these pages last week.
36% lower risk of Alzheimer’s dementia – growing tomatoes? seriously??
Vitamin D – Our skin produces the majority of Vitamin D for our body. Yes, you have to be careful. How much sun do we need? As you can imagine, there are a lot of variables. I liked the way this doctor describes it.
Yes, it is great exercise! It’s like a long athletic game of Twister only with weeds and rutabagas. Plus, none of those awkward Twister moments
Social connection: These community gardens are a fantastic way to catch up, collaborate, and get to know each other. We all need each other and there are more and more studies every week showing there are big-time health benefits from us being together.
Do you like to share your vegetables with coworkers?
And if you’d like more reasons, here is a great meta-analysis on the health benefits of gardening.
Okay, I’ll think about it, how do I get started?
Here is the Better Homes and Gardens’ approach.
Maybe you want to start with container gardening?
Or my favorite, raised garden beds?
I hope you have a wonderful, green, weekend.
Good Morning America
We were honored to join Good Morning America on Wednesday to talk about the incredible health benefits of walking for National Walking Day. We hope you’ll head out for a walk after watching!