Good for the body, good for the soul, good for the planet

Jesse Schuerer, Web Editor

Let’s get dirty! Pull on some gloves and get those hands in the soil because we’re gonna talk about gardening! Planting a garden is a classic American pastime, Nearly half of all American households (49%) have planted a garden in the past few years, and those numbers rose exponentially during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

According to Healthline “The Covid pandemic created 18.3 million new gardeners, most of whom are millennials.” with all these new gardeners, then people should understand the benefits that it brings to them.

Good for the Body

Spending time in the garden is spending time outside, the extra dose of sunlight will increase your vitamin D levels which is correlated with decreased chances of various cancers, dementia, and type II diabetes, though extra sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer. But disease prevention isn’t the only health benefit, tending to a garden uses most major muscles in the body increasing general strength and overall motor function.

Good for the Soul

The benefits of gardening don’t stop at the body, they extend to mental health as well. Tending to a garden increases self-esteem and gives the gardener a sense of empowerment. Gardening helps reduce stress and levels of depression. In a paper by University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna professor Torsten Berger, “Positive emotions initiate upward spirals toward enhanced emotional well-being. Cultivation of plants as part of a strategy for personal change proved to be an effective rehabilitation tool for persons with alcohol use disorders (addicted persons).” Gardening is a great way to improve mood and general attitude, as well as help with other disorders such as addiction.

Good for the Planet

Planting a garden is an excellent way to help the planet. Community gardens promote sustainable agriculture by reducing transportation costs and water runoff. Another advantage for the environment is that it creates habitats in urban areas for things like insects and reptiles. Community gardens can also bring nutritious foods to food deserts and communities with little access to nutritional foods. 

Gardening isn’t just a hobby or a way for retirees to pass the time. There are legitimate benefits, not only for yourself but for the environment and your community as well. So next time you eye that empty patch of grass in your backyard, maybe consider becoming a gardener yourself.