Today’s topic is Hobbies and Time Management! On Saturdays, we serve food for thought, which might challenge what you believe are the “right” ways to spend your time! Today’s subject is gardening!
Gardening is a fun and engaging hobby that has several benefits for our overall health. Not only is it a great way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, but it also has a ton of benefits for both the environment and your wallet. So, pick up some seeds, and grab your shovels, because we’re going to dig into the benefits of gardening!
One of the most obvious benefits is the access to fresh fruits and vegetables that gardening provides. By growing your produce, you have control over what goes into your food and can be sure that you’re getting the freshest and most nutritious options possible.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer (American Heart Association, 2021). By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you’re also likely to save time and money by way of avoiding the grocery store. A study by the National Gardening Association (2020) found that an investment of $70 in a vegetable garden can yield up to $600 worth of produce! For reference, that would equate to a yield of 600 lbs. of carrots – that’s enough for a year!
Gardening can also help to improve your overall well-being. A study by the University of Exeter (2021) found that gardening can help to reduce stress and improve overall mental well-being. The act of gardening itself can be therapeutic and meditative, and being in nature has been linked to a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety (National Institute of Mental Health, 2020).
In addition to the mental benefits, gardening can also have positive effects on our physical health. As previously stated, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. It is also a great way to get some light to moderate physical activity which can help to improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and improve bone health. (Harvard Health Publishing, 2021). Lastly, gardening can also provide social benefits, such as opportunities to connect with others through community gardens or gardening clubs. Studies have shown that social connections can have a positive impact on mental and physical health (Help Guide, 2021).
Most importantly, maintaining a garden is good for the environment. According to a study by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS, 2018), gardening can help to improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Plus, by growing your own fruits and vegetables, you’re reducing the amount of energy and resources needed to transport produce from farms to your local grocery store. This can also help to conserve water. A study by the University of Arizona (2019) found that gardens can help to reduce water usage by up to 50% compared to traditional lawns. By using drought-tolerant plants and implementing water-saving techniques, you can save a significant amount of water and reduce your environmental impact.
Gardening is a wonderful activity that can provide benefits for both the environment and our own well-being. By growing our own fruits and vegetables, we can reduce our environmental impact and save money on groceries. In addition, gardening can improve our physical and mental health by providing exercise, access to nutritious food, reducing stress, and promoting social connections. Whether you have a small balcony or a large backyard, there are endless possibilities to explore when it comes to gardening. So, why not give it a try and see the benefits for yourself? Remember that gardening is not only a hobby, it is a way of living sustainably, responsibly, and joyfully. Until the next harvest…
- American Heart Association. (2021). Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fruits-vegetables
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2021). The health benefits of gardening. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-health-benefits-of-gardening
- HelpGuide. (2021). The power of social connections. Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/the-power-of-social-connections.htm
- National Gardening Association. (2020). The Economic Benefits of Gardening. Retrieved from https://www.garden.org/economic-benefits-of-gardening/
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2020). Being in nature can reduce stress and improve mental health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/being-in-nature-can-reduce-stress-and-improve-mental-health/index.shtml
- RHS. (2018). The Environmental Benefits of Gardening. Retrieved from https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/gardening-in-a-changing-world/environmental-benefits-of-gardening
- University of Arizona. (2019). The Water-Saving Benefits of Gardening. Retrieved from https://ag.arizona.edu/water/saving-water/garden
- University of Exeter. (2021). The Health Benefits of Gardening. Retrieved from https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_749768_en.html