Flowers. Vegetables. Shrubs. Fruit. Weeds.
It’s gardening month here on the SierraSil blog! We hope you enjoy our green-thumbed theme and learn a few things about the many benefits of gardening for physical health, mental wellness, the community-at-large, the environment and your wallet. As always, please let us know what you think about our blog posts and if you have any advice, tips, insight – share these on our Facebook page.
This week we are focusing on all the goodness that gardening can bring into your life. Whether you’ve got a small flower garden, are growing vegetables in a container garden on your balcony, or have a large garden that provides you with plenty of fresh food – you know how valuable gardening is to your overall health.
A Clear and Fresh Mind
There is something truly cathartic about digging in the dirt. The feeling of the moist lush soil running through your fingers really can help to quiet your mind and put you in a place of calmness. Combine this with focusing on a singular task – replanting flowers or prepping your beds for a season of growing – you are focused on this task, keeping your brain from wandering to “to do” lists and past conversations.
We move at such a frenetic pace these days and are constantly connected with our smart phones, tablets, and computers – luckily you don’t need these disturbances in the garden. In fact, leave your phone inside and simply bring out a bottle of water or a nice warm mug of coffee and enjoy the time you spend planning, digging in, and planting your garden.
After an hour or so of gardening, not only will you be able to see the results of your hard work, but you will also feel more relaxed and free. Hopefully this happens every time you go out to your garden. Simply sitting in the grass looking at your flowers or vegetables can have a truly relaxing and freeing impact.
And remember, your garden is always there for you. So if you have a particularly stressful day or simply can’t calm your mind – visit your garden. Dig up some dirt, touch your plants, talk to your flowers, enjoy the smell, and definitely get your hands dirty.
Exercise your Muscles and your Brain
Gardening isn’t easy. The bending. The digging. The lifting. All of this movement and motion adds up to a good work-out. But along with being a good work-out, gardening also places a lot of stress on some of the joints in our body and they can be easily injured or strained.
With this in mind, always make sure you’re lifting those bags of soil, pots, and trays of seedlings with your knees. Never ever lift with your back. To make sure you’re lifting with your knees and not your back do a quick check: are your knees bent in a squat-like position (this is good) or are you bent-over at the waist with mostly straight knees (this is bad). If you do feel some soreness in your back or even your knees, remember to listen to this and to not overdo it. Your garden will always be there ready and waiting for you tomorrow. Taking SierraSil regularly can help you control joint discomfort and inflammation – making it easier for you to get out and enjoy all that the spring and summer have to offer.
And speaking of your knees… it might be worth investing in some gardening knee pads. You’ll find yourself kneeling on the hard ground quite a bit and this just isn’t comfortable. Wearing gardening knee pads can help you protect your knees and allow you to be outside longer.
An extra benefit to gardening is how it can help your brain health. Many senior homes have beautiful gardens designed to allow residents to walk and wander amongst the flowers, shrubs, and greenery. Research shows that this can be very therapeutic and provide you with a chance to relax your brain and help build memory function.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
It really doesn’t matter how your garden grows. Just enjoy the process of gardening. The digging, weeding, planting, and watering will reward you with so many gifts that are hard to replicate elsewhere. Beyond the flowers and vegetables, enjoy the mental, physical, and emotional benefits that nature gives you.