Working in Your Garden: A Healthy Habit
Getting outside and digging around in the garden a bit is an all-around healthy exercise both physically and psychologically. Whether you prefer decorative aspects of yard care like potted plants, fancy outdoor living areas, or flower beds, or you prefer more practical things like planting an extensive vegetable garden and fruit trees your quality of life can only be improved by spending more time outside among green things.
Regardless of exactly what you’re doing out there your sore muscles will quickly confirm to you that it’s hard work. In modern society many of us aren’t getting enough exercise, and learning to enjoy physically taxing hobbies is immensely helpful in mitigating the effects of the largely unnatural living habits that our culture engender. The best thing about gardening is that it’s productive; you always get to see the results of your work. All you need is some basic tools and enough motivation to get started. It’s a quick and easy way to reconnect with our ancestral roots and put ourselves into an environment that we’re much more naturally suited to be in. Even if you’re not comfortable the way you are indoors you’ll immediately smell the freshness of the earth and know that, in a way, you just got home.
Assuming that you’re going with any type of vegetable garden you’ll find that suddenly you enjoy eating them more. It’s not because they actually taste better, but because you went through the trouble of growing them, and there is a certain satisfaction that comes from eating food that you cared for and tended from being a tiny seedling to being ready for your dinner. Since you’re already at home preparing your vegetables you’ll find yourself going to the store to buy stuff to complete those meals, resulting in a diet that’s much less based on Ramen, cereal, and fast food, and much more on fruits, vegetables, and other stuff that’s incredibly good for you.
Obviously going outside and broiling in the sun isn’t an incredibly healthy choice, however some sun exposure is essential for healthy vitamin D production in your body which greatly improves your resistance to a variety of illnesses, including the common cold. Additionally full spectrum light (sunlight) helps to balance hormones reducing tiredness and signs of depression. Besides being good for you, bringing your children out with you will give them a more natural exposure to the natural world which will help them develop strong healthy immune systems and make them less likely to develop allergies later in life.
Working with your hands is a skill in and of itself. Developing good motor control and manual dexterity can improve many aspects of your life beyond just your skill at gardening. Going to the gym, following a diet, and laying in a tanning bed would not result in the same benefits as just going out into your garden and working.
Mackenzie Kupfer has been a lover of all things green since the age of six when she began gardening with her Nana. She is currently an online publisher for the outdoor garden decor site avantgardendecor.com. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys attending garden shows, hiking, and collecting ceramic tea sets.