Gardening For Your Health
Summer is here and that means it is time to garden! Being in the outdoors has many benefits, including increased attentiveness and productivity, lower anxiety and stress levels, and increased creativity. Being in green spaces can even help us recover from surgery! Gardening, whether in your own space or in a community garden, can have similar and other benefits for our physical, mental, social, and financial health.
There are many physical benefits to gardening, including improved joint health, flexibility, fine motor skills and dexterity, physical activity, surgery recovery, vitamin D, and eating habits. It also can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension.
Mental & emotional benefits
Mental and emotional health benefits of gardening include increased serotonin, having a growth mindset about learning from mistakes and challenges, being mindful and present in the moment, and having a sense of purpose. Gardening also can decrease depression, anxiety, and stress.
Connection is a critical part of combatting social isolation and mental health challenges. Gardening gives us the opportunity to connect with other humans, as well as the natural world and other living things. It can also create a sense of community among gardeners. Gardening as a volunteer at a community garden or as a Master Gardener also gives the opportunity to give back to our community, another way to increase our mental wellness. Check out NH community gardens here: https://extension.unh.edu/agriculture-gardens/yard-garden/community-gardening
Gardening can have financial benefits too! Gardens help increase property values, and we can save money on groceries buy growing some of our own food.
Not sure where to start? Check out our tips here! https://extension.unh.edu/agriculture-gardens/yard-garden/getting-started-gardening
Ways to get involved
Become a Master Gardener: https://extension.unh.edu/agriculture-gardens/yard-garden/new-hampshire-master-gardeners
Become a 4-H volunteer and share your knowledge of gardening with NH youth: https://extension.unh.edu/new-hampshire-4-h/4-h-volunteers