This post might be a little late in the season for some, but still a few weeks out for others in the mid-west. Hopefully, regardless of when spring shows up in your area, you will have many opportunities to do what our family finds as a great hobby. Here are some healthy benefits to starting a garden of your own.
1. It burns a surprising amount of calories.
An average sized person can burn around 230 calories from 1 hour of regular yard work (digging, raking, weeding, etc).
Even 30 minutes of weeding can burn 138 calories (Rindels, 1993).
Check out how many calories you could burn with your activity today.
2. You get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Studies are showing that people are simply not getting enough vitamin D and that deficiencies are related to osteoporosis, cancers, high blood pressure and autoimmune disease. Just 10 minutes in the sun can give you your daily dose (Mayo, 2012).
3. It builds strength in important muscles.
Stooping while weeding uses muscles buttocks, hamstrings, legs and hips.
Digging and spading uses muscles in the upper body back and legs.
Planting transplants, trees and shrubs works the hands, shoulders, upper body and arms.
4. You can grow healthy and nutritious food that is much cheaper than the grocery store alternative.
No matter what nutritional plan you follow, we all know we need more fruits and veggies in our life. The one problem is that eating healthy can get really expensive. Growing your own vegetables in any size space is a very affordable option. If cost is an issue, you can even save the seeds from the fruits and veggies you are eating now and plant those. Click here for a tutorial on using seeds from store bought veggies.
When home growing your own vegetables you produce more than you are likely to buy, which means you are likely to eat more. It is also shown to be more nutritious because you eat it right after it is picked, not after days of the vegetable traveling allowing for degradation of the nutrients.
5. You are avoiding sedentary habits
A garden needs maintenance. Vegetables need to be picked, plants need to be weeded and gardens need to be pruned. All of these activities keep you moving and off the couch and moving regularly can be just as important as making time for cardio and resistance exercise. For more information about avoiding sedentary habits, click here.
Rindels, S. Gardening for exercise. (1993). Retrieved from http://gardening.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=gardening&cdn=homegarden&tm=46&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_p504.6.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=5&bts=5&zu=http%3A//www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1993/11-10-1993/exer.html
Vitamin D-Mayo Clinic. (2013) retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-d/NS_patient-vitamind