We have all heard that people run busy lives and don’t have time for too many hobbies or to live a healthier lifestyle. Nevertheless, there is one hobby that could bring you several benefits. Whether you live in suburbia and have a small piece of land that you could use to plant something, or you live in a skyscraper and you only have a tiny balcony available, you can engage yourself and your family in creating a nice looking and well-proportioned garden that could enrich your personal space, bring the family closer together by making them all participate in this activity, and have all that healthy and organic fruit and vegetables at your home.
Gardening makes you live longer
Zones such as Okinawa, Ikaria, Sardinia, and Loma Linda are famous for having many centenaries. They all share the same social habits and a healthy diet based on vegetables that helps them live a long life, but other than that, they also share one specific hobby- gardening. This activity won´t exhaust you and will give you a moderate activity that will keep you busy and in shape both physically and mentally. Cultivating a garden takes away the stress by reducing the cortisol level, just like one Dutch study revealed. Less stress implies less possibility of a heart attack, stroke, dementia, Alzheimer and so on. Spending some time outdoors and enjoying the sun is good for your skin, your mood and also can improve your eyesight. Activities performed outdoors can also boost your calcium levels because of the exposure to the sun. Be careful, though, and use sunscreen.
Gardening brings people together
Social activities are an important part of our lives. This is especially important for the elderly people who sometimes deal with loneliness due to several reasons like retiring, being a widow, or having grown-up kids who don’t live with them anymore. Gardening can be a good way to combine light physical activity with improving their social life. This way, people can also bring some benefits to their neighborhood because they are working together on shared public spaces and cultivating fresh and healthy products.
Shared activities can also bring family members together. Having plans together on how to cultivate the garden and then making those plans work and nourishing the plants, watching them grow and give fruits can be very satisfying for all. A family garden can improve not only your health but the responsibility of your children and make a stronger bond between you.
Equipment and how to start
First, make sure the plants you would like to seed can grow and give fruits in the part of the world where you live. Check how much space you would give up for this cause. If you have a small balcony, maybe some reorganization would be necessary. If you plan to cultivate fruits and vegetables, be sure it´s something you would like to eat, or even sell, because, otherwise it will go to waste. Bear in mind that you need to maintain the tools, oil them or sharp them once in a while. If you are a novice you can look for some life hacks about horticulture. It will be necessary to take rid of the weeds, or any debris leftover during the whole process.
Gardening is not difficult if you use the right tools
There are some essential gardening tools for beginners:
- Gloves that will protect your hands
- Secateurs, which are very useful for cutting thick plants
- Hand trowel that is used for sowing, weeding, planting, etc.
- Hand fork that makes sure you can cut that stony soil
- Spade for digging the soil that is not very deep
- Shovel for digging deeper into the soil
- Watering can, a handy tool for spraying water
- Reeling hoses, much more useful than other tools because they make it more comfortable (you don’t have to lean down while using them)
- Watering sprinkler, and so on.
Not all of these tools will be necessary, but you should see which one you need based on their use which could require a more detailed list of articles. Don’t neglect your tools, care for them so that they last longer and you won´t need any further investments.
Developing you kids’ motricity
By engaging your children in gardening activities, you can make them practice teamwork, responsibility, fulfilling the set goals, work habit, and their motricity skills. They will learn that all the food they normally buy at the grocery store has to be cultivated by someone and they will learn to appreciate their effort. The list of activities that your children could perform, to improve their physical skills along with their mental health is:
- Collecting sticks, leaves, or debris. Teach them how to tell them apart along the way. This is basic and small kids can do it. Don’t be afraid of bacteria, they’re not going to harm them, on the contrary, their immune system will improve as well.
- Harvesting fruits or vegetables and learning which is which. It can be fun and useful.
- Digging holes and seeding the plants
- Watering the plants with adequate tools
- Making a bouquet, a nice and creative work
- Weeding, also with instructions on how to use the tools
- Mowing the lawn (for kids age 10 or more)
According to the journal Biological Psychiatry, the fresh air can even prevent ADHD and that way your kid can achieve better scores at school.
Now that you have all the important information about the benefits of gardening, you can choose if you want to engage yourself and/or your family in this beneficial and most of all healthy hobby. Think about the space, reorganize it if needed. Invest some money in the basic tools according to their necessity and utility. Think about the reasons why you would like to do it. If you want to socialize with people, look for others who share that hobby. If you want to do it with your family, think of a plan to make your loved ones interested and willing to help. Other than a small investment in tools at the beginning, you have nothing to lose, and you have much to gain long term. You gain health, bonding with people, fresh air, stress relief, and tasteful organic food as a prize for your effort.