Spring is in full swing, and it is time to take advantage of the sunshine and blue skies. While most people prefer the hammock or the pool as their outdoor recreational source, one of the more overlooked spring activities is gardening. It is easy to pass off gardening as tiring, tedious and trying, but it is actually a hobby that rewards intuitive and determined motivation with a number of various health benefits. Think of maintaining a garden as an artist would his canvas, by carefully planning each detail and utilizing the right tools, but instead of simply admiring the painting, you can actually eat your final product!
Here are a few reasons why taking a stab at gardening can not only replenish your body, but provide peace of mind as well.
Get pumped up
You don’t have to lift dumbbells or grind out some bench presses to tone your arms and get defined muscles. Gardening can be a strenuous activity that doesn’t equate to hours in the weight room, but it is no walk in the park either. The consistent digging, dragging the wheelbarrow and pulling weeds are great ways to stretch and build up your muscles, and since you are outdoors and enjoying the weather, this subtle form of exercise will hardly feel like a chore.
Peace of mind
Maintaining a garden is something that can help channel calm thoughts and distract you from your stressors, making you feel miles away from the challenges of work, school or relationships .
In fact, researchers from Texas A&M and Texas State University found that those who were active gardeners were prone to be more satisfied with their lives, motivated and frequently active than those who did not garden. Another study conducted by professors from Kansas State University suggested that gardening not only improved overall physical ability, but increased self-esteem as well.
Grow some green and save some too
If you are on a tight budget, gardening can help you cut out a lot of the costs that come with buying produce. After an initial investment in gardening supplies, you will be amazed by how cheap fruits and vegetable seeds can be. Consider a veggie like green beans, where according to the Wall Street Journal, for $1 worth of seeds, you can grow the equivalent of $75 worth of crops. Cucumber, radish and tomato seed packets are also generally priced for under a dollar, so you can stock up and have your own personal grocery store in your backyard.
You are what you eat
Forget all the notions of stress relieving, body building and all that jazz. The best part of having your own garden is chowing down! You are the head chef and master of your domain, ultimately dictating what’s on the menu for the evening. And when you grow healthy fruits and vegetables, you will be able to reap all the vitamin and mineral rewards. Try growing some tomatoes, which are packed with healthy antioxidants that can help you look your best by strengthening bones, skin and hair. Carrots are another easy vegetable to garden, and are proven to lower cholesterol by 10 to 20 percent.