How Gardening Can Help Your Body and Your Mind

How Gardening Can Help Your Body and Your Mind

Summer is officially here, which means it’s time to grab the potting soil and shovel and get to work. Not everyone has a green thumb, but gardening doesn’t have to yield visible benefits; sometimes the feeling of accomplishment is all you need. Gardening has been found to positively affect people’s physical and mental health. If you’re looking for a way to get outside while also improving your whole self, gardening may be the hobby for you.

Gardening can lower your risk of a heart attack or a stroke.
A study done in Stockholm, Sweden, found that regular gardening can cut the chances of heart attack and stroke by up to 30% in over 60 years old. By exposing your skin for just 10 minutes without sunscreen, you can soak up enough Vitamin D to reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and various types of cancer. By gardening, even for only 15 minutes a day, you are improving your chances of a longer, healthier life.

Gardening increases your hand strength and your dexterity.
Getting outside in the dirt can keep your hand muscles strong and agile. Gardening typically requires a large range of motion in your hands; keeping them busy by planting and harvesting keeps them nice and healthy. However, do not push yourself, as strenuous work with your hands can lead to carpal tunnel, tendonitis or repetitive stress injuries. Use an ergonomic grip and alternate the use of your right and left hands to balance out the amount of work your hands are doing. Using your non-dominant hand is also a brain exercise to keep it functioning normally.

It builds up your immune system.
Remember the Vitamin D mentioned before? It can help you fight off colds and flus. Also, the soil that gets under your fingernails and drives you crazy is actually beneficial. It contains bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae that has been known to soothe asthma, allergy and psoriasis symptoms when inhaled or absorbed. Who knew dirt could good for you?

Gardening can help alleviate depression symptoms. 
The Mycobacterium vaccae mentioned above has also been found to help people who suffer from depression. Breathing it in or ingesting it can have similar effects to antidepressants. The physical activity gardening require results in elevated body temperatures that can lead to better moods. 

It can aid in stress relief and self-esteem.
A Dutch study found that gardening can lower people’s cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” and can influence more than just your mood. Higher levels of cortisol have been found to affect immune function, memory, learning problems, obesity and heart disease. Gardening also improves your self-esteem when you see your hard work on a tiny seed turning into a blooming plant.

Gardening can decrease your chance of brain problems and dementia.
Research has found daily gardening to be the best way to reduce your risk of dementia (reducing incidence by 36%). Imagine having a hobby you love that’s also great for your health. Dementia is tricky syndrome to understand, but scientists think gardening helps reduce is chances of occurrence because it involves so many critical functions, such as endurance, strength, problem solving and sensory awareness. 

Gardening is a fun hobby that has proven health benefits. Whether you like getting down in the dirt or just seeing your hard work pay off, it may be your next passion project.

Our Customers Say it Best

  • Hexagon Lincoln
    Hexagon Lincoln

    “Hexagon views Continuum EAP as a key business partner and a valued resource for our employee populace. Continuum provides high-quality — and confidential — educational and counseling services for “Team Hexagon.” The professional staff is always available and willing to help at a moment’s notice.”
    - Matt Becker, Human Resources Manager, Hexagon Lincoln

  • NebraskaLand National Bank
    NebraskaLand National Bank

    “Continuum has been such a great benefit for NebraskaLand National Bank. Once a month we offer employees a “Lunch ‘N Learn” where we feature a Continuum HelpNet webinar and provide lunch. We have received great feedback from employees and attendance continues to increase each month.”
    - Stacey Dawkins, Human Resources, NebraskaLand National Bank

  • Lincoln Electric System
    Lincoln Electric System

    “Continuum is a great resource for LES. They proactively provide workshops to address issues in today's work environment and customized on-site training. Their staff has been helpful and effective.”
    - Julie Panko Haberman, supervisor, Learning & Development, Lincoln Electric System

  • Duncan Aviation

    "We look to Continuum as a strategic partner, in helping our employees cope with stress at work and at home, which leads to improved work performance, decreased absenteeism, and greater workforce retention."
    - Leon Holloway, Team Member Services Manager, Duncan Aviation

  • Assurity Life Insurance
    Assurity Life Insurance

    "Continuum is part of Assurity's high performance culture. Trust has been created for associates who use their services for personal life issues but also for work issues whether they refer themselves or a supervisor refers them. Continuum's expertise demonstrated by all staff aligns to our mission and values and helps associates understand there are resources available for them and their families. The value the Assurity Team receives from Continuum is a measure of performance and risk management. I have worked with them for over 20 years and would choose them over the other two employee assistance programs that I have worked with."
    - Jan Zoucha, Assurity Life Insurance

  • NE State College System
    NE State College System

    "The Nebraska State College System has been very pleased with the services we've received from Continuum. Continuum's experience and expertise have served our employees and College administrators very well. Continuum is extremely responsive and skilled at coaching, consulting, and providing a variety of employee assistance services. In addition, our employee feedback from training sessions has been very positive."
    - Kristen Petersen, General Counsel & Vice Chancellor, NE State College System

Powered by Firespring