People are just like plants: we need time, sunlight, and water to live. We adapt to our environment, change with the seasons, and never stop growing.  

Even if you weren’t born with a green thumb, you can still find pride in nurturing, harvesting, and caring for plants knowing you grew something from the ground up. 

This National Gardening Day, April 14th, spend time outdoors discovering why gardening is therapeutic for your mind, body, and mood. 

Breathe In Fresh Air, Breathe Out Stress 

There’s a reason why gardens have long been places of serenity for escaping the stresses and anxieties of everyday life. Connecting with nature and disconnecting from technology is essential for your mental health. Not only is it peaceful to look at fresh blooms, but gardening also allows time to focus on the present moment. Watch the trees sway, hear the birds chirp, and breathe in the fresh air. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Boost of Vitamin D 

According to Healthline, your body produces vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” in response to sunlight exposure kind of like photosynthesis! The more time you spend gardening outside, the more time you spend increasing your vitamin D intake and reaping the benefits like: 

💪 Regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus

😊 Supporting your immune system

☀️ Lowering the risk of illness 

Get outside and feel the sunshine on your skin just don’t forget SPF!

Heart Healthy 

Need a new way to break a sweat? Digging your hands into some soil can help strengthen your heart. UNC Health internal medicine physician Robert Hutchins, MD, MPH says: “It’s hard work to garden, and it provides some cardiovascular benefit.” The manual labor of raking, digging, and weeding in the sun burns calories and leaves you feeling stronger (and sweatier). 

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The National Institute of Health recommends 30-45 minutes of gardening three to five times per week. Depending on your workout needs, gardening can be a low or high-intensity activity. Either way, fitting in some time in the sun and soil will boost your mood and workout routine. 

Family Fun

We all got yelled at for playing in the dirt as kids, but maybe it was a good thing after all. Nature.com says that children’s early exposure to germs in things like soil is thought to strengthen their immune systems and help protect them from developing allergies and asthma. Also, gardening is a great way to teach children about caring for and being kind to other living things. When you take time to nurture your fruits, plants, or flowers, it reminds you to also take time to nourish yourself. 

Pick up your rake, gather your loved ones, and spend time working outside together growing something beautiful (or delicious). 

Fresher, Healthier Meals 

When you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you know exactly what is going on your food and therefore, what is going into your body. No need to worry about pesticides. Additionally, taking the time to grow your food from seed to produce encourages you to use and consume fresh ingredients in your meals. Need new recipe ideas for your fresh ingredients? Check out our easy, spring recipe ideas with Lifesum

Happiness In Soil

According to UNC, inhaling M. vaccae, a healthy bacteria that live in soil, can increase levels of serotonin and reduce anxiety. Additionally, having a task at hand and keeping your hands (and mind) occupied helps ease stress and anxiety. Being surrounded by thriving, living things is a reminder of the beauty of our earth and how no matter your environment or circumstances, you can keep growing. 

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