If you have ever turned soil, hoed and weeded a garden you already know that gardening can be good exercise. But have you considered that gardening can help you get in shape both physically and mentally?
Gardening contributes to your physical health. Activities such as digging, planting, weeding, and harvesting incorporate all types of physical movement that benefit your flexibility, strength, and even aerobic fitness. And these activities help you maintain muscle that supports a faster metabolic rate.
Gardening also helps support healthful dietary behaviors, such as eating a balanced and varied diet. People who grow fruits and vegetables tend to eat more of these healthy foods. And when they are eaten in place of higher calorie foods, this helps with weight loss.
But the benefits are not all to the body. Tending a garden is an ideal stress reliever. It helps relieve feelings of anxiety and provides a break from the general rush of life. Gardening gives you a chance to think about your concerns, or just spend a few moments daydreaming. Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life can decrease your desire to turn to food for release.
"Sow the Seeds of Healthy Behaviors with a Garden" was the title I chose for this article. A little more poetic than "Gardening for Weight Loss." But Peter insists on short titles with reference to weight loss to grab your attention.
The fact is, however, that sowing the seeds of healthy behaviors will reap rewards in fitness of body and mind. And for overweight individuals, that will lead to weight loss.
Megan Porter, RD