Gardening isn’t just good exercise for your body, it also provides a healthy workout for your brain, says research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Scientists found that regularly working in the garden is a powerful tool for protecting cognitive health, increasing the study participants’ brain volume and cutting the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent.
There has been research that suggests engaging in physical activity such as gardening can help lower the risk of developing dementia. For instance, one study following a group of people in their 60s and 70s for 16 years found that those who gardened regularly had between a 36% – 47% lower risk of developing dementia compared to non-gardeners.
Gardening can be a hard workout depending on what you do and for how long. A simple 1 hour of gardening could help you to burn up to 330 calories. Also, if you garden for three to four hours, you could easily burn as many calories as you would from one hour in the gym.
Therefore, The National Institute of Health recommends 30-45 minutes of gardening for three to five times per week. Which could be a perfect solution for those not wanting to visit the gym.
Head – gardeners have levels of stress hormones, cortisol, leading to improved sleep paters, relaxation and mental wellbeing.
Heart – like physical activity, gardening naturally helps strengthen the heart, building endurance and increasing stamina, meaning a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.
Back – raking bagging leaves means constant bending, twisting, lifting, and carrying – all these strengthen muscles. Just remember to bend at the knees to prevent back strain.
Arms – cutting back hedges with hand-held clippers not only strengthens your triceps and biceps but also strengthens your core as you reach up and stretch. Work such as raking and carrying leaves can tone the upper arms and increase flexibility and strength.
Abdomen – Weeding on your hand’s knees, raking, strimming, and starting a mower are all gardening activities that help strengthen abdominal muscles and build a strong core.
Bottom – squatting while weeding helps to build and tone gluteal muscles.
Thighs -pushing a wheelbarrow and squatting to weed flowerbeds helps strengthen quads and hamstrings.
Feet and ankles – balance and flexibility is improved – helping to prevent falls
Stomach – greater exposure to soil bacteria means gardeners have a stronger immune system.
Hands – gardening can help increase hand strength, pinch force, and nimbleness.
Research at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that the light activity associated with gardening can help you sleep better at night. Sleep is so vital to good health; this is a benefit you shouldn’t ignore. That’s right, plants near or next to your bed can help you get a better night’s sleep. According to studies by NASA houseplants not only produce additional oxygen for your room. As anyone with sleep apnea will attest, more oxygen at night is much better for a good night’s rest.
As far as plants that can help you sleep, Aloe vera releases oxygen at night, which purify the air and help us breathe easier while we sleep. This plant, in particular, is great for purifying benzene and formaldehyde. Areca Palm, this large palm brings a tropical feel to your room with its exotic-looking leaves and its ability to act as a natural humidifier. This feature is ideal for those who suffer from sinus problems at night. Areca palms are also great for purifying toxins, like formaldehyde, from the air. Bamboo palms are large trees that give a warm and clean feel to your entire bedroom. These palms are great for purifying airborne toxins like benzene and trichloroethylene. Place these near windows to help them absorb enough light to support their large leaves.
The pace of modern life can sometimes feel a little unrelenting, so it’s hardly surprising that so many people are living with some kind of long-term stress or anxiety disorder and that’s just the cases related to the workplace. In a world that simply refuses to stop turning and continues to demand more and more from us all, it’s important that we have a place to relax and unwind. Gardening as a form of exercise can be good for you as it helps to release endorphins, the hormone that helps to make people feel satisfied and relaxed.
Furthermore, being outside in direct contact with the sunlight could help improve your mood. Similar to that of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that occurs during the winter months where sunlight is restricted. Planting a beautiful garden can be a great way to relieve stress. Gardening clearly has a positive impact on stress as well as mood and isn’t always thought of as the go-to stress relief activity that reading is, and perhaps it deserves a little more attention as a stress relief option.
While you’re outdoors basking in the sun, you’ll also soak up plenty of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. In turn, calcium helps keep your bones strong and your immune system healthy. As mentioned, handling the dirt helps boost the immune system. It’s essential for young children to develop a healthy “microbiome,” or personal microbe ecosystem. Although there are some bacteria, fungi, and viruses that make us sick, many more are essential to our health. “The immune system is there to act like a gardener or a national park warden,” says Jack Gilbert, a microbiologist at the University of Chicago and co-author of the new book “Dirt Is Good.” “It’s there to promote the abundance and growth of good bacteria and act as a barrier to the generation of bad bacteria.”
If you want to enjoy a continuous supply of garden-fresh herbs in your own kitchen, keep these tips in mind.
Choose plants carefully, provide plenty of light, ensure air-circulation and cool conditions, watch watering, rotate often, fertilize monthly, prune regularly. Herbs to consider for your kitchen: Parsley, mint, dill, basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, and coriander. Perennial herbs like sage, thyme, lavender, chives, and mint do not need to be replanted each year. But annuals like basil and cilantro will not survive an Iowa winter. So they must be replanted each spring. Annual herbs can be cut back more severely since they do not overwinter and they will regrow quickly.
Interacting with nature also helps our bodies heal. A landmark study by Roger S. Ulrich, published in the April 27, 1984, issue of Science magazine, found strong evidence that nature helps heal. Ulrich, a pioneer in the field of therapeutic environments at Texas A&M University, found that patients recovering from gall bladder surgery who looked out at a view of trees had significantly shorter hospital stays, fewer complaints, and took less pain medication, than those who looked out at a brick wall.
Well-designed hospital gardens not only provide restorative and pleasant nature views, but also can reduce stress and improve clinical outcomes through other mechanisms such as increasing access to social support, and providing opportunities for positive escape from stressful clinical settings. What can you plant in a garden for healing?
Begin to create your own garden of healing today simply by planting a container filled with colorful flowers, a nutritious vegetable, or a herb such as lavender, sage, basil or thyme. In addition to being attractive and aromatic, these and many other herbs have been used medicinally for centuries.
When gardening, you have to be conscious of the moment. To live in the moment, or now, means being conscious, aware and in the present with all of your senses. It means not dwelling on the past, nor being anxious or worrying about the future. When we concentrate our attention on the present we focus on the task at hand. Being outside in your garden and experiencing the change of seasons as and when they happen can help you feel connected to the world. This is like sitting in an office all day with only a glimpse out of a window can make time go quickly before you know it it’ll be New Year’s Eve again. Therefore spending the time outside and experiencing the flowers as they bloom can be a great way to keep track of time.
Enjoy less stress by relishing the moment. Understand that plans don’t always turn out as expected. Accept the present for what it is and be happy. Plan as you feel it necessary. Interestingly, gardening is a wonderful form of meditation and mindfulness. Meditation and mindfulness practice, in turn, have huge impacts on our mental state. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines mindfulness as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” Mindfulness practice helps you cope with stress better, improves your emotional intelligence and mental clarity, and boosts acceptance and self-control.
If you have experienced a bad day simply grabbing a shovel and doing some heavy digging or drastic pruning could be a great way to rid of your built up of negative feelings. Furthermore, destroying unwanted brambles and weeds is a convenient way to exert anger as if you don’t destroy them they may soon take over your garden! A therapeutic garden is a plant-dominated environment purposefully designed to facilitate interaction with the healing elements of nature. Interactions can be passive or active depending on the garden design and users’ needs.
There are many sub-types of therapeutic gardens including healing gardens, enabling gardens, rehabilitation gardens, and restorative gardens. What makes a garden therapeutic? The basic features of a therapeutic garden can include wide and gently graded accessible entrances and paths, raised planting beds and containers, and a sensory-oriented plant selection focused on color, texture, and fragrance.
Spending time in the garden is a great way to enhance your sensory system. With all the different smells, colors and textures of plants around you can easily make the most of your body’s abilities. This could be particularly valuable for young children who are learning about the different senses they have. Sensory gardens improve physical fitness, health, mood, and cognition.
Gardening and plant care help children develop gross and fine motor skills. Time outdoors, breathing fresh air, and being exposed to sunlight is extremely beneficial to the children’s overall physical health. What do you put in a sensory garden? Flowers, leaves, bark, berries, lichens, and mosses all give the richness and changing color essential in a Sensory garden. Bright colors, such as red and yellow, are cheery and stimulating to the eyes. They will add excitement and interest to the garden.
Gardening is an excellent physical activity that can be enjoyed by people with osteoporosis if they follow some safety considerations. A major benefit of gardening is a healthy total body workout that includes weight-bearing and resistance activities. Osteoporosis is a disease that can weaken bones and therefore increases the likelihood of a broken bone.
Therefore, by regularly gardening you will take part in repetitive tasks that can ensure all the major muscle groups are getting a good workout. This can help decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Despite chronic pain or the fear of falls and fractures, many people with osteoporosis can still enjoy some form of gardening if they follow certain safety precautions. Do some stretching before beginning your gardening, and start slowly. While gardening, avoid bending from the waist and twisting movements.
To improve your heart health, experts recommend getting at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise every week, and gardening can be a fun and rewarding way to achieve that goal. In fact, one study conducted in Stockholm found that gardening regularly can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by 30% in people over age 60. When looking at the age group 60+ gardening can help prolong life by up to as much as 30%. If you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke, you need to do what you can to keep it from happening again.
Diet, exercise, and other changes to your routine can cut your risk and put you on the path to a healthier life. The people who participated in just 10 to 59 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, such as gardening, walking or dancing, had an 18% lower risk of death from any cause. It may sound like a lot, but you don’t have to do it all at once. You can break it up into several 10-minute chunks during your day. For example, take a walk around your neighborhood in the morning, garden or mow your lawn in the afternoon, and then take another brisk walk after dinner.
Gardening can help you enter the âzone’. This can also be known as an altered state of consciousness where you enter a magical and spiritual place where you can experience the best of who you are. Similar to what an athlete will enter before and during a competition, or the mood you enter during yoga or meditation. It is well-known that an outdoor lifestyle with moderate physical activity is linked to longer life, and gardening is an easy way to accomplish both. If you garden, you’re getting some low-intensity physical activity most days, and you tend to work routinely.
He says there is evidence that gardeners live longer and are less stressed. A variety of studies confirm this, pointing to both the physical and mental health benefits of gardening. Once gardening you won’t need to worry about the bills you need to pay, upcoming deadlines at work or people who have done something to offend you. Just breathe in the fresh air, give some attention to your garden and forget about any worries you may have.
Yes, it is possible to grow vegetables inside during the cold months or just because you lack outdoor space. However, it’s not the easiest way to garden and you shouldn’t expect huge yields. The biggest challenges of growing edibles indoors are low light and a lack of pollinating insects and wind. Some of the benefits include improved air quality. Plants filter the air around them, absorbing gases such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, and emit oxygen Plants filter the air around them, absorbing gases such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, and emit oxygen.
They also increase humidity levels. Cleaner, more oxygen-rich air will keep your family and pets healthier. What’s the top-rated plant for improving air quality? According to NASA, English ivy does the trick perfectly. As for soil, select an organic all-purpose potting mix for your indoor garden. Fertilize plants with a weak solution of fish emulsion when leaves show signs of stress. Seeds or seedlings: Buy seeds or purchase plants. Herbs mature slowly, so grow from established purchased plants for a fast harvest.
Garden-based nutrition education can motivate school children to eat healthier and increase their physical activity. The process of planting their own seeds, watching them grow into plants, preparing the grown food, and eventually eating it can give students a new and sustainable perspective on healthy eating habits. Gardening with young children helps their development. Gardening with children provides them with skills to help your child’s development. You and your children will enjoy every stage of the process. Young children can practice locomotor skills, body management skills and object control skills in the garden.
Student gardens enable schools to promote environmental and sustainability learning. They provide opportunities to grow and produce healthy food and connect students with healthy food and lifestyles. Different plants thrive on different combinations of sunlight and water. A cactus may be fine for a windowless room, but other plants will wilt and die almost immediately. Teaching younger family members about tending houseplants can be a fulfilling experience, and it’s a great way to spend quality time with each other.
Perhaps one of the best benefits of growing plants indoors is the opportunity for year-round fresh vegetables and herbs. Basil, parsley and tomatoes all cost money at the store and can be difficult to keep fresh for longer time periods. In addition, it’s hard to know for certain if store-bought produce has come into contact with pesticides or preservatives. However, with a thriving basil plant in your window, you can just pluck off a couple of healthy, homegrown leaves every time you need them for a recipe.
Want to grow your own salad? The majority of fast-growing greens like leaf lettuce, arugula, mizuna, mustard, Tokyo Bekana, and baby spinach are shallow-rooted and don’t need a deep layer of soil to produce a crop. If you do plant salad greens in a garden, look for a sunny or partially shaded site. Head lettuce will die back, but most leaf-lettuce plants renew efforts to produce leaves, if regularly watered after trimming. Results will often be smaller than the original plant, but you may be able to harvest a second, good-tasting crop within as little as two weeks.
Family gardening is a fun way for the whole family to get outside and enjoy a hobby together. There are many different types of gardening to choose from. Maybe plant some vegetables to harvest or plant your favorite fragrant flower. No matter what you decide to plant, get out, get dirty and have fun. Your kids will be so excited when the first bud begins to bloom and they see the fruits of their labor. Gardening is quite physical and requires the body to work hard digging, carrying, lifting, sieving, watering, etc. As children garden, they develop important motor skills that will help them improve their academic skills such as writing, cutting, and typing.
“Life begins the day you start a garden,” says a Chinese proverb. Research on five global “blue zones”places where residents are known for their longevity, suggests that those lives that begin in the garden will last there for a long, high-quality time. People living in these so-called “blue zones” have certain factors in common, social support networks, daily exercise habits, and a plant-based diet, for starters. But they share another unexpected commonality. In each community, people are gardening well into old age – their 80s, 90s and beyond. Could nurturing your green thumb help you live longer?
When looking at the age group 60+ gardening can help prolong life by up to as much as 30%. The connection between gardening and longevity goes on and on. People who grow more fruits and vegetables themselves, for example, are more likely to have diets containing more plants than animals or processed foods.On an emotional level, tending a garden also contributes to well-being. Dr. Bradley Willcox of the University of Hawaii, who studies Japanese centenarians, recently told the BBC, “In Okinawa, they say that anybody who grows old healthfully needs a reason for living. Gardening gives you something to get up for every day.”
Overall, gardening regularly is proven to be good for you in many different ways. From health-related benefits that can help reduce the risk of a heart attack to helping you relax after a stressful day. What’s better than getting fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle whilst making your garden a lovely environment you will want to spend time in. No longer does gardening need to be seen as a chore, but rather an investment into your health and well-being.
Growing your own food has many health benefits: Spending time in green spaces helps people. It helps you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. You decide what kinds of fertilizers and pesticides come in contact with your food. Vegetables that ripen in the garden have more nutrients than some store-bought vegetables that must be picked early. Gardening has a wide range of mood benefits, such as reductions in depression, anxiety, and anger, as well as increases in overall happiness.
Guess what? Celebrities like to garden too! Here are the favourites of 10 celebrity gardeners and the lessons we can learn from their gardens. From flower gardens and vegetable patches to full-blown farms, these stars are pros in the great outdoors. If not at work, many celebrities would rather stay home and become ‘parents’ to their ‘green kids’âor their home’s plants and flowers. Gardening can actually give so much benefit for a person’s well-being. Entrepreneur and TV personality Martha Stewart will surely agree to thisâshe mentioned in her blog that this activity is âmentally and emotionally rewarding’.
Beginning her gardening hobby as a way to provide her family with nutritious food, Julia Roberts often talks about her love of gardening. One tip for a healthy garden: use leftovers from the kitchen as compost for your garden. Julia Roberts is a big fan of sustainability and loves organic gardening.
She teaches her children how to garden so that they have an understanding of where their food comes from. Her favourites include: Kale (she makes kale chips for her kids) What lessons has she learned: Encouraging children to get into the garden gives them a better understanding of where their food comes from.
The Highgrove House is Prince Charles’ country home. Here visitors can tour his garden which features 37 acres of organic gardens, special themed gardens, the Thyme Walk (a pathway packed with fragrant herbs) and a four-acre wildflower meadow. Probably one of the greatest features of the Highgrove Garden is the Walled Kitchen Garden which produces enough vegetables and fruits to make this royal household completely self-sufficient. There is also apple orchards in the garden whose fruits are sent to a nearby retirement home and hospital.
Prince Charles could be the king of gardening for the royal family. No one has done more to raise awareness about gardening than the Prince himself. He is a passionate advocate of the organic lifestyle. Prince Charles has devoted time and personal fortune to saving old estate gardens across the UK, speaking tirelessly to groups and the media, and especially to the youth. It’s rare to see royalty in wellies and holding a pitchfork! His favourites include: Charlotte Potatoes, Happil Strawberries, Leeks, Spring Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts and Carrots. What has he learned: Native plants can create diversification and colour interest.
One celebrity that is known for her love of gardening is Oprah. Not only does she have acres of gardens at her estate in Maui, she also posts about the fruits of her labors on Instagram all the time. Check it out when you get a chance. Oprah credits her love of gardening to her grandmother, who raised her on a small farm in Mississippi.
With her now 16-acre farm in Maui, she hopes can produce enough to give back to the beautiful island and make it more self-sustainable. She believes that her farm has assisted her with her weight struggles and helped her to develop a greater understanding of the importance of putting healthy foods in her body. Her favourites include: Baby Tomatoes, Basil and Hydrangeas. What lessons has she learned: Gardening does not only have to benefit yourself, but can assist the community?
is an American television personality, fashion designer, and author. In September 2004, an 18-year-old Conrad came to prominence after being cast in the reality television series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, which documented her and her friends’ lives in their hometown of Laguna Beach, California. Lauren inherited a love of gardening from her mother.
Even though her current residence in Los Angeles doesn’t leave her much space for gardening, Lauren satisfied her need for gardening with a potted balcony garden. Her favourites include: Succulents and Herbs. What lesson has she learned: Even in small spaces, you can create a beautiful garden.
Gardening is one of Nicole Kidman’s favourite hobbies. She has an organic vegetable garden and said that she is inspired by the wildlife and landscapes that surround it. She gave fans major envy after posting a photo of her beautiful garden at home in Nashville. The Undoing star shared a glimpse inside the sprawling outside space on her Instagram account this week, and it has the most beautiful bed of pink roses.
The Hollywood star has been spending a lot of time outdoors during the lockdown with her husband Keith Urban and their daughters Sunday, 11, and Faith, nine. Keith recently spoke about his family’s time in isolation during an interview with Entertainment Tonight and said that they were getting out in their backyard a lot, as well as playing music and playing card games. ‘It’s early days, still, in a lot of ways, but it’s been a very vibrant house,’ he said. Her favourites include: Gardenias and Corn. Lessons she has leaned: You can take up the hobby of gardening at any age.
Jessica Alba, who is probably one of the most celebrity moms, strives to live in an eco-friendly environment. She tries to get her daughter Honor in the garden as much as possible and teaches her how to cook meals with what they grow. Alba hopes to inspire both her girls to be advocates for the environment. Despite her busy schedule, she still finds the time to garden. My day starts early with yoga or spinning,” Jessica Alba says, “and, unless I have a pressing work engagement, ends with bedtime stories with the girls and a little TV time with my husband.”
In between, there are back-to-back meetings for The Honest Co., which Jessica started as a one-stop shop for the nontoxic, eco-friendly household, baby, and bath products she wanted to use but couldn’t easily find on the market. Jessica launched the company in 2008, shortly after becoming a mom “despite many people telling me I was crazy,” she says. Her favourites include: Butternut Squash and Kale. Lessons she has leaned: Gardening teaches kids to respect the environment.
Jake Gyllenhall is the ambassador and spokesperson for The Edible Schoolyard Project. He was inspired by the way gardening brought his family and community together growing up. Jake Gyllenhaal is an organic vegan. He enjoys digging in the dirt in his garden. Jake is actively involved in the Edible Schoolyard Project, which encourages kids to adopt healthy diets and to grow vegetables and learn to cook food. Jake grew up with parents that loved to garden His favourites include: Anything fresh from the garden is his favourite. Lesson he has learned: Gardening should be an important part of the curriculum.
Great fashion sense was not the only thing Oscar de la Renta left behind. The fashion designer was also an avid gardener and had gardens not only at his Connecticut estate, but also on his beachfront property in the Dominican Republic. Over a decade following its original publication, Oscar de la Renta’s eponymous coffee table tome is beautifully reimagined to encompass the milestones and memories made since 2002.
The stunning fashion imagery will enrapture anyone with an appreciation for beauty, but what really has us in awe is the designer’s well manicured gardens and impeccably chic homes. Here, we get lost in a few of the verdant landscapes featured amongst the 208 pagesâgardens that only an icon like de la Renta could conjure. His favourites: Gardenia, Ylang-Ylang, and Tuberose. The lesson he learned: Creativity can be ignited in the garden.
Suzanne Somers is an American actress, author, singer, businesswoman, and health spokesperson. She appeared in the television role of Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company and as Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step. In 2001, Somers was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and radiation, but declined to undergo chemotherapy. In November 2008, Somers announced she was diagnosed with inoperable cancer by six doctors, but she learned a week later that she was misdiagnosed.
During this time, she interviewed doctors about cancer treatments and these interviews became the basis of her book, Knockout, about alternative treatments to chemotherapy, including a fermented mistletoe extract called Iscador. After being diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Suzanne Somers turned to organic gardening. She explained that she loves the ability to walk through her garden and pick fresh produce for her recipes. Her favourites include: Lettuce, cauliflower, corn, broccoli, fennel, cucumbers, kale, and artichokes. Lesson she learned: Why go to the grocery store when you can just walk out to your garden?
Ellen planted a Triscuit Urban Farming garden back in 2010 and sealed her fate as one of our favorite celebrities of all time. We hope she dances while she digs and weeds. While wearing Converse. And laughing. The Home Farming Movement is collaboration with Triscuit and Urban Farmingâ¢ in which Triscuit and Urban Farmingâ¢ planted fifty community-based home farms in twenty cities across the United States in 2010, and this year we are planting 15 more community-based home farms in 5 cities. This creative collaboration has also inspired over 47,000 people to register their home-based farms with the Home Farming Movement and each garden is a part of the Urban Farming Global Food ChainÂ®.
I’ve always loved that Triscuit is made with only a few simple ingredients and am excited to be working with them on such a wonderful project “helping people enjoy growing their own food at home.” â Taja Sevelle, Urban Farmingâ¢ Executive Director – Watch videos of Taja Sevelle (Founder/Executive Director of Urban Farmingâ¢) on The Ellen DeGeneres Show! Ellen DeGeneres’ wife Portia de Rossi revealed on her talk-show that she got gardening tools for Ellen’s 61st birthday this year.
Why Not? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC )says gardening is exercise. Activities like raking and cutting grass might fall under the category of light to moderate exercise, while shoveling, digging, and chopping wood might be considered vigorous exercise. Either way, working in a garden uses every major muscle group in the body. This fact won’t surprise anyone who’s woken up sore after a day of yardwork. Studies have found that the physical exertion of working in a garden may help offset both age-related weight gain and childhood obesity Trusted Source.
Doctors have also known for some time that exercise improves cognitive functioning in the brain. There’s some debate about whether gardening on its own is enough to affect cognitive skills like memory. But new evidence shows that gardening activities may spur growth in your brain’s memory-related nerves. Researchers in Korea gave 20-minute gardening activities to people being treated for dementia in an inpatient facility. After the residents had raked and planted in vegetable gardens, researchers discovered increased amounts of some brain nerve growth factors associated with memory in both males and females.