Now that the holidays are behind us and we’ve had some clear weather, hopefully you’ve had the chance to get back out in your garden. Perhaps you’ve been preparing your beds to add some to your landscape, or cleaning and . And if you’re feeling some of the effects of a season of overindulging, take heart! Gardening is a great way to get back in shape and improve your overall health. In addition to a lovely landscape, here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy:
More Time Spent Outdoors
Fresh air and sunshine are great for your mood and your health! Soaking up sun boosts vitamin D, which helps your bones and boosts your immune system. You don’t always have to head to a park or hiking trail to enjoy the great outdoors. Your own back yard is a great place to enjoy nature and “get away from it all.” In addition, you’ll feel the added rewards gained from nurturing along living things.
Approximately 300 calories an hour can be burned just by gardening. Even simple garden tasks such as raking, planting, and weeding can burn 200-400 calories. Bigger jobs like heavy digging or shoveling topsoil and mulch can burn as much as 600 calories per hour! And you’re not just burning calories, you’re also strengthening your muscles and improving flexibility at the same time.
Less Stress and Improved Brain Health
A recent study conducted in the Netherlands suggests that gardening is a better stress reliever than other pastimes, such as reading. Participants in the study who gardened after a stressful task exhibited better moods and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Another long-term study shows that daily gardening is the single best activity for reducing the risk of dementia. And don’t forget the benefits of enjoying the fruits of your labor – just spending some quiet time in a beautiful environment is a sure way to alleviate stress.
Nothing beats the taste of food fresh from your own garden. Growing and eating your own food also brings health benefits. As nutrients in fruits and vegetables start to break down after harvesting, being able to enjoy them right away is the healthiest option. Freezing and canning just after harvesting are also great ways to preserve nutrients. When you grow your own food, you also have control over conditions such as how much pesticides or fertilizer to use.
Citrus trees are an easy first choice for an edible garden, and here at Evergreen Nursery we have all sizes and varieties available. Some are ever-bearing so you can enjoy fresh fruit year-round. We have a wide variety of other fruit trees available as well, including pomegranates, apples, figs, and grapes. If you have little space or just want to start small, an herb garden is another great way to enjoy an edible garden.
Start by browsing Evergreen Nursery’s to get some ideas to start a new garden or to add some new life to your existing one. Then come on in and let us guide you towards your favorite plants and a healthier new year!