Having a garden at home is an idea that, for those accustomed to living in the city, may seem too far-fetched or impossible. However, it is not so uncommon not so hard to get, It is enough to have a small garden, rented land, terrace or balcony.
In addition, living and working in the garden offers many benefits. are the most obvious products from the gardenFresh and inexpensive fruits and vegetables, available without pesticides or other chemicals that contaminate both the vegetables and the soil, and without even leaving the house.
There are many other benefits for health and general well being. Some of the most important are detailed below.
1. Demand Physical Activity
Taking care of a vegetable garden or garden at home represents doing physical activity. It is true that it is not intense exercise, but it allows avoid a sedentary lifestyle From which modern life often inspires us. And it’s also not as trivial to wear as you might think.
At least that’s what a report from Harvard University, USA, published last year indicates. The task compared the calories burned while performing a variety of activities, from sports to homework, based on each person’s body weight.
half hour gardening They consume about 135 calories for people who are underweight (about 57 kg), about 162 calories for people of average weight (70 kg), and about 189 calories for people who are overweight (84 kg). Expenses similar to walking at a moderate pace: at a pace of about one hundred meters per minute.
Of course, fewer calories are consumed with these activities than with doing intense physical activity, but much more than what is expended—for example—by play bowling or golf And even when dancing at a slower tempo, such as the waltz and foxtrot (exercises that require 90 to 125 calories, depending on weight).
And, of course, there’s a lot more to it than using a computer or lying down or watching television (which requires between 28 and 47 calories). Therefore, the physical activity performed work in the garden -especially when they require a lot of movement, bending and lifting etc.- should not be neglected.
2. Reduce Stress
Like many other manual activities, gardening helps reduce stress levels both emotionally and physically. This was confirmed by a study that analyzed what happened to people who, after a stressful task, thirty minutes out To work with plants.
As part of the same test, another group of people had half an hour to read inside a room after the same task. researchers stress levels were measured Both self-perceived and neuroendocrine through the presence of cortisol (the so-called “stress hormone”) in saliva.
Both activities helped the experimenters relax, but the gardeners did it differently. significantly higher compared to those who devoted themselves to reading.
3. Promotes contact with nature
Contact with nature provides many positive effects. If the care of indoor plants already allows this contact to some extent, then working in a garden or garden extends it, as this is usually the case. large surface, And even more so if vegetables or fruits derived from these crops can be consumed.
“Humans, in general, feel happier and more optimistic in one” Environment with lots of flora and nature”, confirms a document from the National Association of Amusement and Parks of the United States of America. For the authors of the work, green environments are “essential components of a healthy human habitat.”
In addition, a study conducted in Japan also reported that contact with nature contributes to a decrease in blood pressurePromotes heart rate and activity of the nervous system, and also relaxation of the whole body.
4. It supports personal relationships and relationships with food
The garden can be a very suitable environment to spend quality family timeEspecially if there are children. As highlighted in an article by the Educo organization, which specializes in children’s rights, growing a garden at home is an activity that favors shared time, trust and good communication.
Having an orchard lets you know what fruits and vegetables look like during their growth. ie it helps them Know the Origin of Many FoodsSomething that is almost a mystery to many children who are always in the city.
And, moreover, the fact of seeing their growth and maturity is an incentive for children try products who would otherwise refuse. and for adults, encouragement to adopt a more natural and healthy diet.
5. Increases Well-Being and Makes You Happy
Often living in green spaces and the existence of “green views” through windows from indoors “is linked to higher levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction and subjective happiness and lower levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness.”
This was the main conclusion of a study that analyzed and eventually published data from 3,000 people about the “importance of being close to nature during the COVID-19 pandemic” by scientists at the University of Tokyo in Japan. 2020.
During the pandemic, experts from the universities of Princeton and Minnesota in the United States also examined whether horticulture and urban gardening rates were related. emotional wellbeing and happiness of people. The results confirmed that yes, at similar levels to other recreational and healthy activities such as walking, cycling or going out to dinner.
In addition, this work added a very relevant piece of information: only one of fifteen recreational activities of this type involved gardening. women and low-income people reported higher emotional well-being than men and middle- and high-income participants, respectively.
Director of Research, Anu Ramaswamy, emphasized the importance of such a finding, noting that “low-income people tend to less access to healthy food options,
For this reason, he explained, gardening and gardening “may provide benefits for the health of fresh fruits and vegetables,” in addition to “promoting physical activity and enhancing emotional well-being.” And all this will lead to a “virtuous circle”, because those good feelings will serve “Reinforce this behavior”,
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