There’s a reason (or 5!) why so many people cite gardening as one of their favorite hobbies. Aside from adding a little beauty to your outdoor space, gardening provides many benefits. Form stress relief to striking out attention fatigue. Here are 5 awesome reasons to love gardening.
Grow Your Food (and Eat it, Too!)
Gardens are not just to look at. Many fruits and vegetables are super easy to grow, even if you don’t naturally have a green thumb. Depending on what kind of space you have to work with, produce like carrots, lettuce, green onions, hearty greens like kale and chard, figs, blackberries, and strawberries are all incredibly easy to grow. In fact, with nutrient-rich soil, properly planted seeds, and the right amount of watering, these all practically grow themselves.
If you grow your own vegetables, you’re not only saving money on your grocery bill, but you’re more likely to actually eat fruits and vegetables. No more complaints about expensive, fresh produce! Bonus: if you grow it yourself, you have even more control around pesticide use (or lack thereof).
Many researchers have found evidence that gardening reduces stress. In one particular study, researchers had participants take a Stroop test (remember those from Psych 101?), then split the group up into 2. One sub-group read for 30 minutes, the other gardened. Though measured cortisol (a stress hormone) levels had decreased in both groups, the gardening group experienced dramatically significant reductions and reported an increase in positive mood, while the reading group’s mood actually decreased. Pretty convincing stuff, right?
Get Your Vitamin D
Gardening outdoors means basking in the sun. With appropriate sunburn prevention, soaking in some sunshine for a short period every day is great for you. The sun provides vitamin D, and vitamin D, in return helps your body absorb calcium, which we all know is very important in maintaining healthy bones.
Next time you need a little vitamin D and/or calcium boost, put down the fortified milk and step into your garden. Just make sure you protect your skin with sunblock and a hat if you plan to stay outside for a while.
It’s the Perfect Antidote to “Attention Fatigue”
You know that “2:30 feeling” you get at work? The feeling that you’re exhausted and can’t concentrate on anything? Some scientists call that “attention fatigue.” Because so many things in modern life are competing for our attention (computers, phones, TV screens, advertisements, etc.), we can’t keep up. Gardening, which requires more sensory and physical attention, can help fight the effects of attention fatigue. Some researchers even suggest gardening can be effective as a treatment for ADHD in children.
It Keeps You Active
While gardening may not be perfect cardiovascular activity, it does require a lot of lifting, bending, stretching and the like. Those who garden tend to be more limber and flexible, as getting into the nooks and crannies of your garden will mean stretching and bending as needed. So while gardening may not be as effective as 30 minutes of weightlifting, it’s certainly better than 30 minutes of sitting.
Taking up gardening as a hobby means you are in control of what you grow and what equipment you use to do it. Gardening can be as expensive or inexpensive as you like. Keep an eye on BLINQ’s Outdoor & Gardening section, where we often have great deals on basic tool and necessities. If you buy in the off season, you have the potential to save even more!
Gardening is a great hobby that can take effect on so many aspects of your life! When you take up gardening as a hobby, you can reap what you sow (see what we did there? 😉 ) to save money on your grocery bill, reduce stress, and stay healthy and active!
What are your favorite things to grow?