The health benefits of gardening begin the minute you start digging in.
- Gets you out in the sun more, which helps the body make vitamin D
- Improves memory
- Boosts your mood
- Helps fight loneliness
The proof is in the planting
Studies have shown that:
- 30 minutes of gardening a week is equal to 30 minutes of weightlifting
- 30 minutes of gardening can burn an average of 150 calories
- Gardening can also lower blood pressure, stress and muscle tension
The gardening workout
Garden work is good exercise. It’s varied and it’s fun. Plan to garden three times a week for 30 minutes to an hour. Here are some moves to try:
- Pulling weeds by hand (upper body)
- Raking and hoeing (upper arms, shoulders, chest and back)
- Using a push lawn mower (heart rate)
- Digging (thighs and glutes)
Gardening keeps your mind growing
About four out of 10 Americans say that being around plants helps them to feel relaxed and calm. That's because breathing fresh air can refresh your thoughts.
Being around greenery can also help you to heal faster after surgery. It will help you feel less stressed.
Super-fresh foods and no check-out lines
With fruits and vegetables right in your backyard, you’ll be eating more healthy food. Different vegetables offer different health gains, so plant a variety of them:
- Eggplants have potassium, which helps to keep muscles and nerves working well.
- Tomatoes have vitamins that can help lower inflammation (swelling that causes fever and pain).
- Dark green vegetables have folic acid found in vitamin B9. The body needs this to get energy from food.
- Carrots, broccoli, squash, peas and spinach are all vitamin A powerhouses. Vitamin A helps to keep your eyes healthy. It also helps your body to fight germs.
Anywhere can be a garden
You don’t need a backyard to do gardening; you can also try window boxes. You can even join a community garden. It’s a fun way to get tips from other gardeners. It’s also a great way to meet new people.
- American Council on Exercise. Diggin’ in the dirt. Published January 29, 2009. Accessed March 13, 2022.
- Bauman, J. Creating accessible gardens. National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD). Accessed March 13, 2022.
- Hayes, K. 5 secret health benefits of gardening. AARP. Published June 14, 2017. Accessed March 13, 2022.
- International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC). Food insight. Vitamins and minerals fact sheets. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- Pike, Alyssa RD. What is the anti-inflammatory diet? Food insight. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- Russell, NE. Get the dirt on gardening. AARP. Published April 9, 2019. Accessed March 13, 2022.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.