A Prescription for Sunny Days
Have a green thumb? Here’s why it’s a good thing.
After hibernating through a Canadian winter, many people look forward to getting outside for fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sun. Gardening is a wonderful way to spend more time outdoors, as well as improve your mental and physical state. If you’re an avid gardener, you already understand the benefits:
Exercise for people who don’t like to exercise
Tending to a garden may offer a significant physical workout, especially if you spend time digging holes, pulling weeds or mowing the lawn. While you need to be careful to avoid back or knee injuries, gardening is a low-impact way to get cardiovascular and strength-training benefits. As well, seeing the results of your efforts when the plants start growing can be energizing.
The “Sunshine Vitamin”
Vitamin D from the sun has many therapeutic benefits and may even protect against certain diseases. Enjoying a sunny day in your yard will no doubt invigorate you, even if you’re doing some strenuous planting. Just remember to wear sunscreen, a good hat and long sleeves to protect you from the elements.
Cultivate a healthy mind
Gardening also has positive mental health benefits. Not only can it help people who have endured a traumatic event, are depressed or are even battling a mental illness, but a plant-filled environment can help you relax and improve your mood. Whether it’s from the joy of seeing the results or simply connecting to nature, creating a little oasis for yourself will take you away from work stresses or demanding kids.
Your creativity may get a lift as well -- seeing gorgeous flowers and landscapes has inspired artists for generations. It’s also rewarding to grow your own food. Not only is it healthier for you, but it’s better for the planet, too; you’re reducing the transportation of goods, which decreases the carbon footprint.
Give gardening a try and watch your stress -- and the calories -- melt away. Doing what you love and connecting to nature can relax and inspire you.