Benefits of Gardening

There's something about working in the garden that's refreshing and invigorating. I love getting my hands dirty, digging in the earth, planting new plants and creating something beautiful. I was recently flipping through an old 'Canadian Gardening' magazine and came across this *article on the benefits of gardening. So I thought I'd share the 5 points here:

1. A SERIOUS WORKOUT. Besides keeping your hands strong and nimble, digging holes, pulling weeds and carrying soil helps burn more than 250 calories an hour.

2. DIRT CAN MAKE US HEALTHIER. Research show that people, especially children, who are exposed to microbes found in dirt develop a better immune system, are less likely to develop environmental allergies, asthma and even some autoimmune diseases.

3. ROLLING IN DIRT COULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER. According to a paper released in April 2007 from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, certain bacteria (Mycobacterium vaccae) in soil may have the same effect as antidepressants, stimulating the release of the mood-enhancing chemical serotonin.

4. DOWN TO EARTH. Children who get close to nature-mixing soil or planting, for example-tend to have a more positive attitude towards the environment. Research shows they make better nutritional choices, have more self-esteem and achieve higher grades in science.

5. WHACKING WEEDS HELPS RELEASE AGGRESSION. It's better to get things off your chest in the garden rather than vent to colleagues or your loved ones.

*Article by Fina Scroppo in 2010 Canadian Gardening Magazine

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