Gardening Is Good for Mental and Physical Health

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
en Español

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planting in a raised bed garden

My son and I decided to plant a very small garden, last month. While he is very active, I thought it would be a good way for me to get in some exercise and relieve the stress of staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Admittedly, we didn’t get fancy, rather than build a raised bed, I ordered one pre-made. Anyway, we discovered that preparing, planting,  caring for, and most of all, watching the changes occurring as our garden grows is very rewarding.

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, research shows that gardening has positive impacts on the body. In a study conducted at Konkuk University (Seoul, South Korea) campus, a 12-week gardening intervention was shown to reduce blood pressure, waist circumference, cholesterol levels, and improve muscle strength, and flexibility, as well as, improve the immune system.

Gardening is an activity that can be done alone or with others. This activity presents an opportunity to enjoy some quiet time to meditate, as you toil in the soil. If you have children, gardening together is an opportunity to talk and share current events and family history. Allow the children to help choose the plants that you will grow. Discuss information about the seeds they are planting, and what you will do together to help your plants grow. Talking and being together, as you work towards a common goal, can be a great stress buster and social pastime.

You and your family can plant different vegetables in spring and fall. Try something different like an unusual tomato, or squash. It will be fun to see it grow and try it in an exciting recipe.