Gardening provides moderate exercise and access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. It's also a fun way to get your hands dirty and create something.
If you’re looking for a new hobby this spring or want to find a way to get outside, here are some reasons why gardening could be a great addition to your healthy lifestyle.
Anyone and everyone can garden.
- Gardening is a convenient hobby because it’s scalable.
- If you have a yard, you can easily build a bed with plywood, soil and a hoe. You can also enjoy plants that take up more space, like squash or watermelon.
- If you only have a balcony or patio, you can still build your own garden! Plant crops in pots or grow bags and leave them in a place where they will receive plenty of sun.
- You can also buy or build a raised bed. Raised beds allow you to garden without having to bend over or put pressure on your knees. These gardens tend to be easier to care for, and you avoid many of the pest control problems.
- If you want more options for garden locations, check with your city and see if there are garden plots available near you. Social experiments show that community gardens are a great source of socialization. Be sure to follow social distancing guidelines and wear your mask
Gardening is moderate physical activity, so it counts as your “workout for the week.”
- The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise per week. That may sound like a lot, but you can split that up across the week.
- Moderate physical activity is anything that gets your heart beating faster. The act of planting, digging and working the soil can raise your heartbeat, especially if you’re working a plot of land.
- Gardening benefits your brain health, too. The CDC reports that this kind of activity can improve memory and cognition, and reduce feelings of anxiety in adults.
Use your harvest to add fruits and veggies to your diet.
- Fruits and veggies add fiber and vitamins to our diets. The American Heart Association recommends an average of 4 ½ cups of fruits and veggies per day.
- The American Heart Association also recommends planting cucumbers, cilantro, basil, berries, tomatoes and radishes. These are easy to grow and grow in many parts of the country during the summer.