Check-Up: Gardening can improve your health

May 13, 2019

Aldyth is a middle aged woman who is hypertensive. She loves to garden and has noticed that when she does, her blood pressure, after working in the garden, is always lower than at any other time. She wonders if gardening could treat high blood pressure.

Gardening isn’t just fun. Working in the garden can have several health benefits. Besides producing foods, fruits and beauty, gardening can also improve your health outcomes.

Regular gardening can lead to lowering of the blood pressure and to a healthier heart. Working in the garden reduces life stresses as well as provides extra physical exertion and exercise, and maybe even healthier food choices if you eat your garden produce. The exercise achieved by gardening is associated with relaxation and the release of endorphins (happy hormones). This combination of events can lead to blood pressure reduction! Set a schedule for your gardening and stick with it. Even do stretches in your garden and consider it the most pleasant of exercises.

Consider planting green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and carrots, and the added benefits you reap from planting not just blooming flowers, but vegetables you can eat in your home.

The American Heart Association also reports gardening as reducing the risk of a stroke. Gardening also burns calories and is even considered to be moderate to high-intensity exercise. Doing the heavier gardening burns more calories and is helpful with preventing weight gain. Thirty minutes several times weekly would be great. The repetitive action of pulling weeds requires strength and stretching, which can work several muscle groups in the body and even decrease the occurrence of osteoporosis. Gardening and digging in the soil improves your mood as you concentrate on nature and forget about difficult situations.

Research has shown that people who spend a lot of time around plants have better relationships, better compassion for people and for the environment in which we live. It has also been shown to lower the risk of developing dementia and of strengthening the immune system by absorbing increased amounts of Vitamin D.

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