6 Ways Gardening Is the Ultimate Mind-Body Workout

The health benefits of gardening go beyond harvesting vegetables and fruits. Pulling weeds, raking, reaching for various plants and tools, and twisting and bending your body while planting all work the muscles in your body, building your strength, endurance, and flexibility. Gardening can help you grow in these areas as well.

Increase exposure to vitamin D. Outdoor activities, such as gardening, are a great way to get some sunshine while pursuing a hobby.

Lower dementia risk. A study that tracked 2,805 older adults aged 60 and older concluded that physical activity, including gardening, can reduce the risk of dementia in later life.

Boosts mood. Numerous studies have linked exposure to gardens and other natural areas to reduced depression, anxiety and stress.

Improves self-esteem. In one study, community gardeners in London reported higher self-esteem than a non-gardening control group. Cultivating and harvesting plants is a great way to accomplish tasks and achieve success, building resilience beyond the garden.

Community building. Gardens-especially community gardens-strengthen neighborhoods by increasing social connections, reciprocity, trust, and civic engagement.

Getting closer to nature. Cultivating plants offers a unique way to create a special connection with your environment that makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself.

This was originally written by Heidi Wachter and excerpted from “The Gardener’s Workout: 7 Functional Moves to Prevent Injury” which was published in the March 2023 issue of Experience Life.

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