Everybody knows that exercise is good for them and necessary for maintaining good overall health, but not everybody enjoys working out. People tend to think of physical activities like running or hitting the gym when it’s time to get their heart pumping, but those who cringe at the idea of hitting the gym may want to consider taking up gardening instead. Gardening is a great way to improve your physical health and it provides substantial mental health benefits too.
Gardening may be the perfect activity for resistant exercisers
The Washington Post shared information from Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman who believes that resisting exercise is natural. While the jury may still be out on whether resistance or a reluctance to exercise is a learned behavior or biologically set for many people, working out can often feel like a chore. Many people are hard on themselves for not exercising, or not being active often enough, but it may be that they just have not found the right activity yet.
Running or sweating at the gym may work for some people, but others may find themselves more likely to stick with an exercise that keeps them active if they have fun with it or see other benefits as they do it. Gardening definitely fits the bill in that respect, and Women’s Health confirms that this is a hobby that should not be undermined in terms of the level of exercise it can provide.
Moderate amounts of time gardening and yield big results
The Telegraph explains that those who work in a garden often get so caught up in the process of gardening and the enjoyment they experience from it that they don’t even realize how much physical activity they are getting. This is a hobby that can get your heart rate up enough to compare with some other types of vigorous exercise and as you dig, you will challenge your body with squats, lifts, and plenty of other movements that challenge your muscles.
As Natural News notes, it doesn’t take an extreme amount of time gardening to see an improvement in your physical health. Even 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can produce positive results, and most people start to see improvements in their mental health as they garden as well. As people see how much they enjoy gardening they may invest a great deal more time in it than 30 minutes a day, but that is a great starting point to utilize in order to see some initial benefits.
Your mental health will benefit from gardening too
Even if your motivation for gardening is to sneak in some exercise without feeling pressure or misery, you will likely start to feel better mentally, too. Gardening can lower one’s cortisol stress hormone levels, and it can lower levels of depression and improve mental health, which can even help some people overcome addiction. Many people find that gardening stimulates their brains, gives them an opportunity to connect with nature and other people, and can even help with spirituality as well.
Exercise comes in many shapes and forms, and those who are resistant to jumping on the treadmill, lifting weights, or going to an aerobics class may want to think outside the box a bit. A hobby like gardening provides plenty of physical activity and there are mental health benefits that come as well as it can stimulate your brain, reduce your stress levels, and help combat depression. If you are feeling guilty about not exercising, consider gardening as the ideal activity to improve both your physical and mental health.
[Image via Pixabay]