Think about it—in the Chattanooga, TN area, we have lots of fertile farmland, which translates to garden land for us suburban dwellers. If you decide to start a garden, you are forced to be outside on a weekly (if not daily) basis, tending the plants, harvesting, weeding, and watering.
But how does that affect your health? You might be surprised. Being outside for lengths of time is good for you in itself—the sun promotes vitamin D, fresh air rejuvenates your body—but gardening adds a little extra. Let’s look at what that extra is.
It Provides Stress Relief
There are lots of studies out there proving that gardening reduces stress, but how does it work? For one thing, sun exposure. This blog article highlights the fact that exposure to sunlight increases the production of serotonin in the brain, which is a feel-good chemical that helps us relax. It also promotes melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Gardening also provides us with an attention focus that does not take any effort, unlike cell phones and TVs and laptops. Getting outside and launching into the rhythmic exercise of weeding in your Chattanooga garden, for example, allows your mind to wander while your hands perform a task that is satisfying (removal of weeds automatically produces a clean garden). Giving your brain a break from the norms of being inside will definitely lower your stress level.
It Promotes Mental Health
And gardening doesn’t just relieve stress. It also helps with mental disorders like depression and anxiety because it is scientifically mood lifting. We learn in this Permaculture Research Institute article that the harmless bacteria M.vaccae found in soil actually promotes the production of serotonin, which elevates your mood. That in combination with sunlight is sure to boost your mental health!
In the same article, we see other studies that prove that gardening produces a positive mental outlook, happiness, and even prevents dementia in seniors. Need a mood-lifter? Go outside and tend your Chattanooga garden. Want to keep dementia from stealing your twilight years? Get a garden going next spring.
It Provides Nutrition for Your Household
And finally, the most obvious health benefit of gardening is the products of it. When you grow vegetables, everyone in your household benefits. Home-grown vegetables are usually organic and quite fresh, making them even better than the produce that you can pick up at the grocery store. And you can grow quite a lot of different vegetables in the Chattanooga area that your Chattanooga, TN chiropractor will love. Check out this planting schedule to find out when you should plant foods like asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, okra, squash, and sweet potatoes. And if you still don’t believe us, read the proof in this US News article . Growing your own veg is one of the healthiest things you can do for your family’s diet.
Do you have a garden?
So by now, we hope that if you’re a Chattanooga, TN chiropractor patient—or even if you’re not—you see why gardening is one of the best activities you can do for your health. You can read about more benefits here if you’re still not convinced. Make gardening your go-to move when you’re stressed out or sad.
Do you have your own garden? Or maybe you’ve been thinking about it, and we’ve just tipped you in the right direction. Tell us about it! We want to know how our readers are reacting to our blogs, so leave a comment in the box below.