Some of you may have met Christina Prevett when you joined me and signed up for the McMaster University Research project we conducted a few years ago. She nows owns her own gym and physiotherapy clinic in Kingston Ontario. Here is a timely Blog post from Christina for all of you who love to garden and maybe some inspiration for those of you who don’t, but need to do something to keep you active during this pandemic!
Original Blog Post by Christina Prevett, April 27, 2020
Is gardening the new hobby of choice for many?!
When the COVID-19 closures started, we thought it might be for a couple of weeks. We are now going into week 7 and realizing how wrong we were. I started to realize that I needed a hobby that wasn’t related to work in any way. Even as a weightlifter, it sort of relates to my business as a gym owner. Introduce… gardening!
With more of us having to spend our time at home, many people have turned to gardening as a way to spend more time outside, reduce stress and do something productive. So much so that the garden centres are having a hard time keeping up!
Blogs and YouTube channels that are talking about gardening for beginners are also seeing a surge in views which is a great indication of more people trying to be active outside.
Gardening can be so good for you in so many ways. A paper that was just published talked about some of the benefits to our mental and physical health. I’ve outlined them for you here.
What are some of the perks of gardening?
1. Gardening eases stress and anxiety.
There is a term we use when we are in nature. That term is nature bathing. It refers to the sense of relief and release we feel when we’re in a natural environment. This usually is when we are talking about being in a forest but many people describe this washing away of stress when they’re in their gardens too. Taking care of weeds and working the soil brings a sense of calm.
2. Having a garden promotes positive self esteem
For many people who spend a lot of time in their gardens, they can be something that gives a person a sense of pride. Their gardens are a reflection of their hard work. It is something they can show off. Those feelings can translate into a little ego boost or a boost to the self-esteem.
3. For older folks, research lets us feel like we’re taking care of something with all of the kids grown up
A research paper that I linked to below just came out talking about how for many people, gardening can be an outlet for our nurturing side. Gardening gives us something to care for. Like a dog that doesn’t bark or not come back when it’s called (haha).
4. It’s FUN
Many people can consider gardening a necessary work that they must do as a home-owner. For many others though, that is not the case. It is a favourite pastime. It is something that people look forward to doing. Learning something new, experimenting with different types of flowers can be really enjoyable. Maybe you can give it another try?
5. It can be a social thing (when we can go back to community gardens!)
Right now with physical distancing this isn’t a social activity but when the community gardens open it can be! Especially if you’re in a very urban setting with little outdoor space of your own, having a community plot can be a GREAT way to meet new people and get out and have some fun outside.
6. It makes us sit less!
We spend too much time sitting! Gardening is an excuse for us to move around a bit more! As a physiotherapist, I don’t know if I would categorize it as exercise (you have tobe breathing a bit heavy for that) but it definitely is physical activity and movement. Breaking up our long sitting stretches by gardening is a great way for us to stay healthy!
Want to get into gardening but have NO idea where to start? Here are some resources I’ve found around the internet
Planterina: I went down the Youtube rabbit hole for HOURS. Her plants are gorgeous and I’m obsessed. Check it out here.
Scott T, Masser BM & Pachana NA. Positive aging benefits of home and community gardening activities: older adults report enhanced self-esteem, productive endeavours, social engagement and exercise. SAGE Open Medicine. 2020.8:1-13.