Recent studies indicate that gardening for only 30 minutes a day, once per week, can reduce stress levels – and fatigue. The immediate and lasting health benefits of this finding substantiate that gardening is an activity we all should consider for our health and mental well-being.
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If you’ve ever taken an impromptu walk in the park or down a tree-lined lane, you know how you felt afterward. Likely, you were invigorated and thinking good thoughts rather than focusing on stressful subjects.
Add Years To Your Life
A garden can provide that mental well-being and possibly add years to your life. Studies have proven the fact that gardening is good for the body and the soul and cities are incorporating community gardens in their design plan to keep the population healthy and provide an outlet for stress and mental fatigue.
If you’re not an avid outdoor enthusiast, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to spend large chunks of time tending to a garden. Choose a gardening method, such as containers, that will keep you reaping the benefits gardening has to offer, but that you devote less time to.
Related Article: Why Container Gardening is the Best Way To Grow Plants
You may live a life that makes it difficult to garden because of the time it takes, but there are methods where you can get the same benefits as avid gardeners who spend hours per week in their garden settings.
One method of gardening that lets you devote as much or as little time as you like is planting in containers. You can make it even easier by setting up watering systems such as the drip method.
Start off with the basics
If you’re a beginner gardener, you’ll want to begin with easy-to-grow plants. Choose from a wide array of flowers to add beauty to your outdoor and indoor spaces or reap the health benefits from a vegetable garden.
Any gardening store can help you with the basics. Don’t invest in a lot of equipment and exotic plants until you find out if gardening is something you enjoy. Most of the basic gardening tools are inexpensive and will last a long time if cared for.
There are so many aspects of gardening to enjoy and that will provide stress-reduction and boost your health. Simply being outside in the fresh air and sunshine can help lift your mood, fill your lungs and flex your muscles.
Another healthy aspect of gardening is the beauty and peace it provides. If you have the space, carve out an area for a chair and perhaps a water feature that offers peaceful sounds.
After your gardening chores are done, take some time to relax and enjoy the sounds, sights, smells and touch that your efforts have provided. It’s amazing that only 30 minutes of gardening, one day per week can provide that much pleasure to your life.
stress-free and eating healthy
Vegetable gardening goes beyond helping you feel less stress and can help you eat a healthy diet by providing you with fresh, chemical-free food that you can enjoy right out of your garden.
If you want to try your hand at gardening, but don’t know where to start, begin online with some tips and ideas about how to cultivate a garden where you can devote little time, but reap all of the benefits that gardening has to offer.
Gardening for Stress Relief Must Be Approached the Right Way
Almost everyone has heard that gardening is an excellent way to exercise and relieve stress at the same time. It’s true that gardening can be a great way to enjoy the bounty of what you sow while being outdoors, reducing the effects of stress and getting some good exercise to boot.
But, some people become over-excited about having a garden and plant more than is feasible for them to take care of. When gardening becomes more of a chore and more stressful than helpful, it ceases to be beneficial in your life.
make a plan first
Everything about gardening can be a great way to relieve stress – but, it can have the opposite effect if you bite off more than you can chew. That means planning your garden is one of the most important parts of your decision to garden.
If you’ve never gardened before, it’s important to first decide what you want from the garden besides stress relief. You may decide that planting a vegetable garden will reap the most rewards because you can enjoy the bounty it provides.
create a place of peace
A flower garden can also be beneficial by providing beauty and a place of peace to help relieve stress in your life. When planning your garden be sure to include other items besides plants.
A comfortable place to relax and enjoy the fruits of your efforts can help relieve stress on a daily basis. Water features are excellent additions to gardens and provide relaxing water sounds to further relax.
Gardening Better Than Reading?
A recent interesting study revealed that a half hour of gardening activities can reduce stress more than the same amount of time spent reading. The stress hormone, cortisol, was tested and it was found that the readers experienced a downturn in mood rather than a lift.
Keep in mind that not everyone enjoys getting dirty and being outdoors. If you want to try gardening as a means to relax, begin small. Some containers or raised beds can be a good alternative to a full-fledged garden space in the yard and much easier to maintain.
Gardening isn’t for everyone and that’s ok
Then, if you discover you don’t like gardening, you can cut your losses and try something else to relax. Gardening isn’t for everyone, but it can be a great stress reliever if approached in the right way.
Choose your plants by the area you have to work with and your own preferences. Also, consider the amount of money and the time you want to devote to your new found hobby.
A Few Fails is Ok
Don’t be discouraged if you have a few failures at first. You can avoid some possible failures by seeking help online or from your local gardening store. Also, be sure to purchase plants that will grow well in your area.
Keep in mind that you can create a garden in any space you have available. A windowsill can work if planned correctly. You may be more drawn to unusual methods of gardening such as hydroponic or raised bed rather than the typical garden space.
Get the family involved
Get the family involved if possible. Anything that gets a family away from the television or gaming and lets them enjoy the outdoors together is beneficial to the family nucleus.
Don’t Let Gardening Add More Stress to Your Life
It’s important for beginning gardeners – and those who want to fight stress in their lives by gardening – to begin small. A no-fuss garden can get you started on a gardening journey and determine whether or not you like to dig in the dirt and grow your own food or grow plants simply for their beauty.
gardening should not be a chore
Over-investing in a garden can require a lot of work and make your venture more of a chore than a delight. There are some things you need to remember as you plan and execute your garden space.
One thing you can do you reduce the time and effort you spend pulling weeds and watering is to add a one to two-inch layer of mulch over your garden space. Mulch will stop weeds from spreading, hold water during hot days and improve the soil when they decompose.
choose the right plants
Choosing the right plants is also a good way to cut down on extra work. A no-fuss garden will serve beginners well and serve as a good indicator as to whether or not you’ll continue gardening.
First, you should evaluate your garden space and its condition. Get help from experts if you need to. It can be expensive and time-consuming to choose plants that aren’t adaptable to your climate or soil conditions.
If you have a space that’s sunny most of the day, you’ll need to concentrate on those to plant in your garden. Shady spots are perfect for certain flowers and plants, so make sure you choose the right plants for the right space.
make an investment to save time
Watering during the steamy days of summer can be a chore that you dread. To minimize the issue of hauling water or a hose to your garden, invest in a soaker hose.
It will water slowly and evenly and you won’t have as much trouble with evaporation.
For an even easier way to water, attach a timer to your garden hoses and you won’t even have to worry about turning on the water. If you chose container gardening for your journey, consider a drip irrigation system.
They’re easy to install and you can purchase them from your local garden center. You’ll never have to worry about the chore of watering again. Weeds can be a problem in gardens.
keep your garden clean
Rather than using weed killers which contain potentially harmful chemicals, get some exercise by taking the time to pull the weeds when they’re young and small. Deadheading your plants is also a good way to maintain a stress-free garden.
Flowers, especially, need you to take the time to clip or deadhead faded flowers before and keep your garden looking fresh and beautiful. Edging is a garden maneuver that will save you much time and effort by preventing grass from invading your garden beds.
create a border
Edging in the form of plastic, bricks and stone can be used, but the most effective are those you can place up to 6-inches beneath the soil to prevent grass from creeping under.
Raised garden beds are also a good way to prevent heavy garden maintenance. It’s also good for those who have disabilities which prevent them from bending or squatting on the ground to tend a garden.
Creating an Outdoor Haven Free from Stress
Stress is the reason behind many illnesses and health conditions. It can cause headaches, stomach upset, high blood pressure and more. It’s no wonder why people are seeking relief from the side effects of living with stress.
While over the counter medications can offer some relief, that relief is only temporary. For a long term healthier way to find relief from stress you’ll want to look at creating a garden.
Create your haven with little expense
With minimal effort and expense, you can create a haven that can bring peace and calmness to your life. You can create a little oasis right in your own backyard that will help to restore your balance any time you feel the pressures of life causing you anxiety and turmoil.
It’s easy to set up this personal haven. To get started, you need to first choose a space. This space should be an area that’s accessible to sunshine so that the plants will grow well.
will it be vegetables, fruits or flowers?
Choose plants that are hardy and specific to your area. Some people choose vegetable and fruit plants while others choose to have a garden that’s part flower and part food.
Some flowers grow extremely well near a vegetable and fruit garden and also work as natural pest deterrents. The first rule of stress free gardening is to always make sure that you’re planting what you want.
choose plants you love
If you choose plants that you love, you’ll be vested in the garden and it won’t seem like work at all. When you’re choosing the plants that you want, try to opt for ones that are as low maintenance as you possible.
These will be plants that you don’t have to fret over. You don’t want ones that cause you stress. That means to choose plants that won’t need constant pruning and you won’t end up having to stake to keep them from falling over.
Look for hardy plants that won’t succumb easily to pest and ones that are tougher for plant diseases to target. Look for ones that don’t have a lot of extra needs.
Keep your new garden small and simple
The size of your garden can also determine if it will be a haven free from stress. If you choose to put in a large garden right from the start, it can be easy to quickly become overwhelmed with all plants you’ll have to take care of.
It’s always best to start small so that you don’t have a lot of demands on you at once. Then as you work in the garden, slowly add to the size of it little by little. That way, you’ll grow accustomed to dealing with the new arrivals in small blocks rather than all at once.
Gardening Provides Low Impact Exercise for Less Stress
Anyone who has spent time gardening knows that after they’re done, they feel like they’ve had a workout. That’s because they have. When you garden, you’re engaging in low impact exercise and like other forms of exercise, gardening can reduce stress.
So when you have a garden, not only do you get to enjoy healthy foods and beautiful flowers, but you’re staying fit as well. Studies have shown that the movements associated with the tasks in gardening qualify as low impact exercises.
gardening is a low to moderate exercise
In some cases, this exercise is considered to be moderate or high on the exercise rating scale. You can work in your garden and gain the same exercise benefit you’d get if you’d walked a few miles or rode a stationary bike.
The more you do in your garden physically, the more health benefits you’ll stand to gain from it. Though it’s best to make sure you have at least 30 minutes of low impact exercise, when it comes to gardening, most people get well over that amount.
Gardening lowers your stress levels
You’re spending time lowering your stress while you’re gardening and in the process, every part of your body is undergoing a workout. From the core muscles down to your thighs and calf muscles – you’re working out.
As you garden, your muscles are becoming stronger, you’re using up calories, and shedding fat and pounds at the same time. What you would normally do when you hit the gym is included in gardening including the stretching.
Gardening: good workout
When you pull weeds or reach for an item, that’s the same as stretching before a workout. If you’ve always wondered about resistance training exercises, you even get those when you garden.
As you pick up soil or fertilizer and haul it around, you’re engaging in resistance training. When you have to hoe or shovel or move your wheelbarrow from one place in the garden to the next, that all adds resistance and you build muscle from it.
But even though you’re gaining an excellent workout, you don’t have to worry about the stress to your joints because it’s all low impact. For every hour that you plant or weed in the garden, you’re losing about 290 calories.
Your body stands to gain a lot when you garden as a way to relieve stress. You’ll become more mobile. Your muscles and joints will be stronger. Certain health issues can be helped such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Growing tasty foods or enjoying beautiful flowers can result from you choosing to garden to get rid of stress. Ending up with a stronger, firmer body is an added bonus.