The Top 9 Unexpected Benefits of Gardening

When’s the last time you felt like a kid? Have you gotten down and played in the dirt? Well, there’s no better time than now – April is National Gardening Month! We’ll be discussing the top 9 unexpected benefits of gardening in honor of the occasion and give you a great excuse to go and get your hands dirty!

Exposure to Vitamin D

Okay, you probably saw this benefit coming, but it’s still important! Gardening gets us out in the sun which provides us with our daily requirement of Vitamin D. Most adults need around 600 international units (IU) every day, while 10 minutes in the sun provides us with roughly 10,000 IUs! This nutrient helps us absorb calcium to promote strong, healthy bones. Additionally, by getting your daily dose of Vitamin D, you can decrease your risk for developing breast, colon, and prostate cancers says the BMJ (British Medical Journal). When you go outside, be sure to remember the sunscreen!

Boosts Mood/Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Gardeners don’t just appear happier, they tend to be happier. A CNN-published study showed that people who gardened after performing a stressful task reported better moods than those who read instead. Additionally, blood samples taken for this study showed decreased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. In a different study, gardening was shown to lessen depression and improve self-esteem levels. Researchers attribute these effects to interacting with nature, performing regular exercise, and, in some cases, being a part of a community of gardeners.

Lowers Alzheimer’s Risk

A 2016 study from the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that physical activity can cut a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s by 50%! This form of dementia is caused by brain cell death, specifically in the nerve-cell connections. However, these cells don’t have to disappear. An increase in energy output, even one as light as gardening, has been shown to aid grey matter retention, leading to the decrease in the risk for Alzheimer’s.

Provides Aerobic Exercise

Being a good gardener means more than just making sure your plants have enough water each day. Proper gardening means getting into the dirt and digging, planting, and weeding. If you’ve spent an afternoon out in the yard, you’ve probably noticed that sometimes you’ve even broken a sweat. That’s because tending to your plot of land is moderate cardiovascular exercise. Talk about a workout with benefits!

Decreases Risk of Heart Disease

Gardening is good for the body and the mind, but did you know it can help your heart, too? A study published in the Telegraph showed that moderate exercise – such as gardening – for 30 minutes a day can cut the risk for heart attack by 54%. The effects are increased, reaching 66%, with more vigorous levels of activity.

Improves Sleep

Physical activity tires us out, which can, in turn, help us sleep better! This type of activity can also strengthen our circadian rhythms, which means we’ll be more alert during the daytime and sleepier come nightfall. All of these factors come together for an easier time falling and staying asleep.

Promotes Weight Loss

A 2013 study published in ScienceDaily noticed that people who garden tend to have lower BMIs than those who don’t, averaging a difference of 11 pounds for women and 16 pounds for men. Why? In addition to a more active lifestyle, they also tend to have healthier diets, since they eat the healthy fruits and vegetables they grow.

Boosts the Immune System

Some people think dirty hands are just a sign of poor hygiene, but we know it means a strong immune system! Soil contains healthy bacteria that help us stay healthy while preventing and alleviating the effects of allergies. This boost to the immune system can also aid in not contracting sicknesses and make it easier to fight off future infections. How does this work? Our bodies become exposed to natural bacteria and learn which ones are harmless and which need to be blocked. This, in the end, stops us from having a sneezing fit when we’re out in the grass!

Saves Money

Yes, with proper research, planning, and a big enough patch of soil, gardening can end up saving you money. By focusing on growing what you eat, you can avoid a long grocery bill – and have the satisfaction of eating something you raised! By starting early with seeds, you can save even more money and eat your produce long after harvest with proper preservation techniques. However, be warned: gardening includes a startup cost and if you’re not using what you’re growing, it’ll be a hobby instead of a supplement to your budget.

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When it’s time to start a successful weight-loss journey, it’s time to call NYBG! We’re the best practice around and our numbers prove it:

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The Top 9 Unexpected Benefits of Gardening

Thomas

Lost 145lbs

Thomas' success story

I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man.

Everybody treated me like a king. The day of surgery, I was excited. The hospital couldn’t be any nicer. I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man. My recovery was awesome. I was out of bed that day. My wife and kids were my motivation on getting this surgery. They are my whole life. I’m happy I’m going to be around for them.

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Lost 76lbs

Nicole's success story

I hit my goal weight ... and I feel fabulous

I had the gastric bypass. I am Type 2 Diabetic and I wanted to gain control of my sugar. I hit my goal weight in about 5 and half months and I feel fabulous. The procedure has completely changed my life for the better because it has empowered me as a middle aged woman that I can really do everything and anything that I want to do. I don't put an age on anything. I don't say I'm too old for something.

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Robert

Lost 76lbs

Robert's success story

I was tired of the way I looked. I was tired of the way I felt.

I knew if I didn't change something soon, I was going to be in a lot of trouble. The consultation process was a lot easier than I expected. I was met with open arms. I was treated like I was the only patient here. Not only did they answer all of my questions, they had questions for me to make sure I was the right candidate for the surgery. After surgery and that weight started dropping off, my life started changing for the better.

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Lost 92lbs

Samantha's success story

I feel like a completely different person.

I had the gastric sleeve procedure. The driving factor behind me getting this procedure was my health. I didn't feel good physically or mentally. I had joint pains, even standing was difficult sometimes. Emotionally, this surgery completely turned my life around. I have so much more confidence. So much more happiness. I feel like a completely different person. I feel stronger. I feel able to accomplish more.

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Lost 99lbs

Eileen's success story

It saved my life.

The driving factor behind me getting my procedure was that I couldn't get up off the floor with my granddaughter. That was my why. That was my big reason for having this surgery done. After surgery, it was a little bit of a struggle with what to eat. What you put in your mouth that you don't even think about. You don't think about what you're eating or how you're eating and portion size. It's what I do now every single day. The procedure has changed my life in so many ways. It saved my life.

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Brittany

Lost 126lbs

Brittany's success story

I am totally comfortable in my own skin.

I think I always grew up identifying myself as less than other people because I was fat. I decided to tackle that and just live my life. I had a sleeve gastrectomy. It changed how I view myself. How I communicate with people. I'm able to be much more of myself and live the life I always thought I should have been living. I am totally comfortable in my own skin. You have the tools you need to succeed here.

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Lost 157lbs

Desiree's success story

I have a brand new life. I can do things I couldn't do before.

I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy because I had just become diabetic, and I had hypertension for many years. I lost a total of 157 pounds in 11 months. I have a brand new life. I can do things I couldn't do before. Everyone at New York Bariatric Group has been wonderful. They are kind. They are understanding. They make you feel comfortable. They will guide you every step of the way on your journey so that you can be successful.

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