Not only is gardening an enjoyable hobby, a great mood lifter and a help to the environment, but research has shown that having a green thumb can be excellent for your health as well.
Working in you garden can protect you from cancer and help to prevent osteoporosis.
How Gardening Prevents Osteoporosis
One of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis and strengthen your bones is to do regular exercise.
Exercising not only builds muscle, but also helps to maintain your bone mass and density.
There are three types of exercise for osteoporosis, and all are required to maintain healthy bones:
• Weight-bearing (walking, dancing)
• Resistance (swimming, lifting weights)
• Flexibility (stretching)
The resistance and weight-bearing exercises can be fully covered by spending time improving your garden. Activities such as digging into the soil, pulling out weeds, pushing a wheelbarrow, planting flowers and vegetables, and raking up leaves are all excellent methods to combat osteoporosis, especially for women over fifty years old.
(And if you are already affected by osteoporosis, exercising can help maintain the bone mass you have).
Being outside in the late afternoon sun helps to maintain a good level of Vitamin D, which is also essential to fighting the degeneration of your bones.
Another positive to the gardening aspect is if you grow your own fruit and vegetables. Spinach is full of Vitamin K which is imperative for preventing spinal fractures.
Incidentally this is also a huge part of how gardening combats the risk of cancer: People who garden tend to eat healthier food; this home-grown food will be untainted by the chemicals and poisons which you will find in supermarket food.
How Gardening Prevents Cancer
If you are not a smoker, researchers have discovered that gardening once or twice a week can reduce your risk of cancer by 50 percent.
And for former smokers, that same type of gardening exercise can reduce the risk of cancer by up to 40 percent.
The American Institute of Cancer Research stated that gardening is a physical activity which not only helps prevent cancer, but also contributes to overall health and endurance.
Having regular contact with good quality soil has also been linked with anti-cancer benefits: the nutrients that the soil provides for home-grown fruit and veg seems to be good for people as well.
And then also, the anti-cancer benefits of eating home-grown vegetables can never be overstated; there are so many healthy nutrients, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins which help decrease certain cancers.
So go out and enjoy your gardening, knowing that you are creating a healthy lifestyle and building up your defences against some degenerative diseases.