It’s National Pollinator Week! We celebrated by planting pollinator friendly plants in our Wellness and Healing garden. Ever notice a boost in how you feel after you garden?
Together the Inspired Health Group team tended to the Wellness & HealingGarden behind our family practice in Orchard Park last Friday. This garden includes benches and a winding walking parth, offering a space for rest, renewal, reflection, meditation, & prayer, and pollinator friendly plants like, Miss Molly Butterfly Bush. Spending time together in nature had us reflecting on the benefits gardening activities have on our health.
Studies have shown the benefits of nature on our emotional wellbeing and mental health. Simply observing nature has been shown to boost mood and mental health, reducing blood pressure, pulse rate and muscle tension.
Exposure to sunlight can lower blood pressure. UV light from the sun releases nitric oxide in the skin, which dilates arteries and lowers blood pressure. Excess UV exposure can damage our skin and increase our risk for skin cancer, so sun safety remains important.
Sun exposure can boost our levels of Vitamin D. When exposed to the sun, your skin can manufacture its own vitamin D. Again, too much sunlight can pose health risks. Planning your gardening around when the sun is less intense, wearing sunscreen and protective clothing and seeking shade after a period of exposure are good ways to seek moderation in your sun exposure.
Think of all the ways you move your body when you garden! This increased physical activity centered on working with your hands is great for dexterity and building muscle strength.
Anyone who has moved a wheelbarrow full of mulch can attest to the aerobic exercise of this activity. Digging, raking and mowing are particularly calorie intense and can easily burn same number of calories as a gym workout. Physical activity is important for our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Finding movement activities you enjoy, like gardening, are a great way to sustain regular physical activity.
Gardening can be a great way to meet new people and share a hobby. Whether participating in a communal garden project or helping a friend with their garden, spending time together outside can combat feelings of isolation, especially during the pandmenic when many of us may be focusing our socialization to outdoor activities.
Learn more about the Health Benefits of Gardening and the many studies linking green spaces to improved health and wellbeing from the National Library of Medicine
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