June 6th is just around the corner! If you weren’t already aware, it’s National Gardening and Exercise Day! But what does gardening have to do with exercise? A lot, actually.
If you have ever tried your hand at gardening, then you know how rewarding it can be. From putting in the hard, dirty work to celebrating when you collect your first harvest, it is quite the journey.
However, contrary to popular belief, gardening has a lot more to offer you than just being your favorite hobby.
If you are on a health and fitness journey, or considering starting out on one, gardening might just be the perfect activity to add to your routine, as it has a lot to offer. Here are just a few ways that gardening can help you live a healthier lifestyle.
- Access to organic food. This is probably the most obvious of the health benefits of gardening. Whether it is a small herb garden in a box on your windowsill or a full-on fruit and veggie orchard in your backyard, gardening ensures you have easy access to high-quality, organic food. This makes eating a well-balanced diet that much easier.
- At-home workout. Gardening is probably one of the most underrated at-home workout options out there. It may sound odd, but if you take your gardening seriously, it may end up being all the exercise that you need.
Activities like walking around the garden, pruning plants, uprooting weeds, and even planting qualify as proper cardio workouts and will actually help you burn some calories. The larger the garden you are working on the more exercise you will be able to get in.
Gardening could also help you with strength-building and muscle toning. Just try lifting potted plants or carrying bags of fertilizer around the garden and you will see exactly what we are talking about.
- Improved mental health. Gardening is fantastic for your mental health in many different ways. You may notice an improvement in mood as well as cognitive functions like memory and concentration.
Not only is being outside in the sunshine a great mood-booster, but you also get to benefit from the mood-enhancing endorphins that are a direct result of exercise.
Gardening and Exercise for Your Gut Health
So far, it is pretty clear that gardening has a lot to offer on your wellness journey. However, it doesn’t stop there. There is one more important reason to add gardening to your wellness routine-it can improve your gut health.
First and foremost, what you eat directly impacts your gut. Therefore, it is important to consistently eat a well-balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. And what better way to incorporate these foods into your diet than to grow them yourself!
If you don’t have space or time for a large vegetable garden, don’t discount the benefit of a small herb garden. Not only do herbs make cooking more fun, but many of them, like basil and rosemary, can also help improve your gut health.
In addition to having plenty of fruits, veggies, and herbs to enjoy, the simple act of working in your garden can be good for your gut. After all, our environment has a direct impact on our gut microbiome. All the different microorganisms we come in contact with during our day-to-day lives can actually alter the composition of our microbiome. And since it is estimated that soil is 90% more diverse than your gut microbiome, gardening is one of the best ways to expose yourself to a large variety of microorganisms.
But the benefits of gardening don’t stop there! Since gardening is also exercise, it can also help to increase the number of good bacteria present in the gut microbiome. These good bacteria are useful in nearly every process that takes place in the gut, including the chemical breakdown of food and the promotion of peristalsis.
It’s Time to Get Gardening
If you have not already adopted gardening as a hobby, now is a perfect time. With so many physical and mental benefits, including the amazing benefits for your gut health, it is definitely an activity worth investing your time in, which is why we consider it part of living the #NewEarthLife. So whether you have a large garden or only have room for a few window boxes, it’s time to grab a shovel, pour some soil, and get your garden on.
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