We know that gardening is rewarding. Working in the garden is good exercise that helps us work out stress and anxiety. Gardening provides an opportunity to commune with nature, and benefits the environment by providing pollen and nectar for bees. Gardening can even help us do our share in the battle against global climate change. Those are a few things we know about gardening, but there may be rewards you haven’t yet considered. Here are 5 surprising benefits of gardening.
1. Gardening benefits the hands and wrists. You may not believe this one, but it’s true. Planting, digging and pulling builds strength, flexibility and coordination in your hands, fingers and wrists. Gardening may even offset some of the stiffness and soreness resulting from typing, texting and other repetitive tasks.
2. Gardening improves the quality of sleep. You don’t need to exhaust yourself in the garden in order to sleep better. Research indicates that even light activity in the garden, combined with plenty of fresh air, reduces stress, tires you out and improves the quality of sleep.
3. Gardening boosts self-esteem. Growing a garden successfully requires an investment of time and hard work, but it all pays off with beautiful flowers or luscious vegetables. As you gain additional skills, the garden gets even prettier. Enjoying your wins, both large and small, is a real confidence booster.
4. Gardening tightens tummy muscles. Weeding, raking, digging, trimming and pushing a mower or wheelbarrow are hard work, but in time, you’ll notice stronger core muscles and a flatter tummy. Be sure to stretch your muscles before you begin and after gardening, and don’t overdo it.
5. Gardening revs up the immune system. Scientists studying the soil have discovered that soil is good for you. It contains beneficial bacteria that improves the immune system, increases happiness, and helps ward off infections. Research also indicates that working in the garden may prevent certain types of allergies and minimize the severity of allergic reactions.