“Mary, Mary, quite contrary… How does your garden grow?”

The answer to that age-old question is: with a lot of hard work. If you’ve been considering taking up gardening, we’re here to tell you that there’s never been a better time to start!

The hobby of gardening has a lot of amazing health benefits, some of which may surprise you! Read on to learn the health benefits of gardening!

1. Gardening Can Help You Lose Weight

Yard work such as gardening is a great activity to do if you want to take care of your body. An hour of gardening can actually burn up to 330 calories according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In another study by the American Journal of Public Health, they discovered that those who garden are likely to have lower BMI ranges. They found that men lost an average of 16 pounds and women lost an average of 11 pounds!

Since it is more of an activity than a pure workout, you may not even notice that you are breaking a sweat. You’ll burn calories with a smile as you pull weeds, dig with your trowel, or rake with a rake from Weed Razers.

2. Gardening Can Reduces Stress and Loneliness

According to NASA, yes that NASA, gardening can provide stress relief. Astronauts grew zinnias, zucchini, broccoli, and sunflowers as a part of an experiment to test the effects of caring for plants on their moods. 

They hoped to combat the feelings of stress, loneliness, and isolation that many astronauts can experience in space and the outcome of the study was positive. 

Another study had people complete a stressful task and then tested the effects of gardening on their cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone our brains produce when we are stressed.

Half of the participants gardened for 30 minutes after completing their task, while the other half spent time reading a book indoors. The half that spent time working in the garden ended up with measurably lower levels of cortisol.

Another way working in the garden can combat stress and loneliness is with community gardening. Community gardens are shared spaces where members of a community can grow vegetables and other plants together as a collaborative project.

Community gardens are a great environment for socialization and building relationships with other people. Direct face-to-face interaction with other humans can relieve stress and anxiety. It can also make our brains release dopamine which makes us feel good and is a natural pain reliever.

3. Gardening Can Help You Think Clearly

Gardening can help you think more clearly! According to a study by the University of Michigan, being outside and around plants made people more focused. They saw an improvement in both attention span and memory of 20%!

Another study found that working in the garden also lowers your risk for dementia. The study followed over 2700 people age 60 and over for 16 years. They concluded that physical activity including gardening could reduce dementia risk by 36%!

4. Gardening Can Help You Eat Better

One huge benefit of gardening is growing your own fruits and vegetables. 90% of adults do not get enough fruit in their diet. Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vital nutrients your body needs. Most are low in fat and high in vitamins. 

Potassium from vegetables helps maintain proper blood pressure. Dietary fiber found in vegetables helps lower cholesterol and can help lower the risk of heart disease.

Folic acid aids your body in producing red blood cells. Vitamin A is good for your eyes, and Vitamin C helps cuts heal and helps you keep your gums healthy. It also helps you absorb Iron. 

5. Gardening Increases Hand Strength and Coordination

You use your hands for a lot of intricate work while gardening. From pruning branches to pulling weeds, these activities can strengthen your hands.

Working in the garden is a great way to work on your fine motor skills. A study from HortScience found that weeding for a few minutes a day could offset some of the hand strain from repetitive actions like typing. 

6. Gardening Gives Your Immune System a Boost

Digging in the dirt is actually good for you on a biological level! Mycobacterium vaccae is a good bacteria found in the soil. It helps alleviate the symptoms of asthma, psoriasis, and allergies. One study also showed it had a positive impact on mental health by fighting depression. 

7. Gardening Exposes You to Vitamin D

Spending time outdoors in the sun helps you get the recommended amount of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is not available in many foods, but it is in sunlight! By spending time outside, you are able to absorb Vitamin D, which has many health benefits.

Vitamin D boosts your calcium levels. Calcium is essential to both bone health and a strong immune system. Vitamin D also helps fight depression and anxiety, so gardening outside can literally make you happier!

The Benefits of Gardening Are All Around You

When you take up gardening, you will be able to watch as the literal and figurative fruits of your labor spring up all around you! You will also enjoy a healthier lifestyle as one of the benefits of gardening. 

Working in the garden is a past time that you can enjoy well into old age. It will help keep you active and provide some great beauty in your yard and delicious food on your table. So take up gardening today!

If you liked this article, check out some of our other wellness-related articles!

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Don’t Invest In a Career. Here Is Everything You Can Do To Build a Life

The world is changing rapidly. The way we live has already changed. The way we work keeps changing. Entire industries are crumbling. Robots are eating jobs. People are scared of losing their jobs. Nobody is safe.

But people are empowered to express themselves more than ever. The opportunities to create, to become a part of a global conversation and transformation are now more than you can ever imagine. There are now more free online resources to help you start and pursue your life’s work.

You can take your idea, business, or career, and turn it into something truly successful and amazing. It’s easier to transform your passion into your job than finding a job that matches your what you love to do.

What will you do with that?

What will your place be in this new, interesting world? Will you have a voice? Will you be a creator, or just a consumer?

You can do something.

Do something interesting, meaningful, different, amazing and truly remarkable. You have a choice. Choose to show your most amazing work to the world.

Inappropriate attention to detail is the reason why you have not launched your work. By all means, get it right but don’t aim for perfection.

Constantly push to evolve your ideas, even if you are not ready to launch your life’s work yet. Don’t get stuck!

“Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”  Goethe

Be a part of the conversation, and say something remarkable. Create something unique, new, beautiful. Build upon the works of others and transform it into your own.

Don’t be subject to the tyranny of “how things have always been done”. Find your true north and push past the default.

Here is everything you can choose to do to build a life that matters to you

Start a blog, write at least a little each day. Write a book. Or an ebook. Share your tips with others online or through a free ebook. Write poetry and publish it on the web. Create interesting, lovely or funny videos, put them on You Tube.

Create an app that will solve a problem in people’s lives. Become a watchdog to replace the faltering newspapers. Explore the world, and blog about it.

Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video. Be yourself, loudly. Start a new company, doing only one thing, but doing it very well.

Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted, or that you are frustrated with in other companies because the service sucks. Put your heart into something.

Say something that no one else dares to say. Do something others are afraid to do. Help someone no one else cares to help. Make the lives of others better.

Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create. Inspire others by being inspiring. Teach young people to do amazing things. Write a play, get others to act in it, record it. Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before.

Read, and read, and then write. Love, and love, and then help others to love. Do something good and ask others to pass it on. Be profound. Find focus in a world without it.

Become minimalist in a world of dizzying complexity. Reach out to those who are frustrated, depressed, angry, confused, sad, hurt. Be the voice for those without one. Learn, do, then teach.

Meet new people, become fast friends. Dare to be wrong. Take lots and lots of pictures. Explore new cultures. Be different. Paint a huge mural. Create a web comic. Be a dork, but do it boldly.

Interview people. Observe people. Create new clothes. Take old stuff and make new stuff from it. Read weird stuff. Study the greats, and emulate them.

Be interested in others. Surprise people. Cook great food, and share it. Be open-minded. Help someone else start a small business. Focus on less but do it better.

Give people a ride in your car. Use Uber to your advantage. Start an online shop on Shopify. Create and sell stuff on Etsy.

Help others achieve their dreams. Put a smile on someone’s face, every day. Start an open-source project. Make a podcast. Start a movement. Be brave. Be honest. Be hilarious. Get really, really good at something. Practice a lot. A lot. Start now. Try.

If you’re willing to take the risk of sharing yourself and your ideas with the world, you can create value you will be proud of.

Show up everyday and work on your most important life work. Whether the outcome is magnificent or eternal, whether it changes people’s lives, changes the world, changes you or groundbreaking, it matters that you show up.

By focusing on doing the one thing that excites you, you not only give yourself a shot at putting in the effort to become amazingly great at something, but you also make it easier for potential customers or employers to see you as “the guy who’s really great at that thing.”

If you pursue your dreams long enough, compounding takes effect. Momentum will surge. Don’t give up just yet.  Action begets outcome. Outcome begets action. Rinse, lather and repeat and you have momentum. You’ll become unstoppable.

Start. Move, make, create, ship, do. Just start. That’s what entrepreneurs do. They start. They start something. Sometimes it is something big. Sometimes it is a big failure. Either way, they got stuff done.

Don’t invest in a career. Build a life. Take your dreams seriously.

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