I’m talking about gardening people!! Well, not just gardening…yard work in general. Before you say “eww”, hear me out. Think about yard work like two birds, one stone situation. You’d be able to accomplish a chore you’ve probably been putting off as well as getting some exercising without really focusing on it. So why wouldn’t we want to upgrade our surroundings while we have the time?
Like I just mentioned, you can get a pretty good workout in while you do yard work without focusing on the calories you’ve burned, how much weight you’re lifting, or how many reps you can get in a circuit. But beyond the physical benefit of gardening/yard work, it’s also beneficial to your mental health. (Considering we’re all probably going a little stir-crazy, we should jump at any opportunity to get outside and clear our heads).
Physical Health Benefits:
- Total body workout. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. You’re digging, raking, weeding, planting, watering…the list goes on. Typically these aren’t everyday activities, so you’ll probably work out some muscles that have been slightly neglected during your everyday activities.
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis. Being outside and exposed to sunlight prompts your body to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for bone formation. But be careful about how long you stay in the sunlight–always wear your sunscreen (:
- Better sleep. After working outside, doing hands-on work all day, you’re going to be tired! And you’ll deserve that good night’s sleep too.
- High food quality (for gardening specifically). When you’re growing your own food, you know exactly what goes into it. You’ll be getting the freshest and cleanest produce that comes right from your backyard! (This could also be considered a financial upgrade too!)
Mental Health Benefits:
- Stress-relief. Gardening and yard work gives you a sense of control which can boost self-esteem and confidence. You’re in charge of the final look and placement of everything. You’re able to be as creative as you want, so go for your vision!
- Sense of responsibility. You’re responsible for keeping your space “clean” (as clean as the outdoors can be) and also making sure your flowers, plants, and vegetables are able to live and grow. Even though they aren’t things that you have to constantly feed, like animals, your attention to them can really make a difference.
- Being present. Being outside can help you feel connected to the world. More so, you’re personal environment.
Written by GUADS staff member Toni with contributions from www.goodhousekeeping.com