Spring is in full swing and blooms are popping up all over the place. It’s prime time to garden. While flowers, fresh fruits and green veggies are a nice incentive to dust off your green thumb, there are also great health benefits associated with gardening.
During the day, our attention is divided between emails, phone calls, meetings and more. Our directed attention gets maxed out and we often become irritable, distracted or stressed out.
However, this “attention fatigue,” as many call it, can be reversed by “involuntary attention.” This occurs when you’re fulfilling a task, but you can allow your mind to wander and drift from focus point to focus point on a whim.
Gardening is the ideal activity for this. While you’re pruning your blackberry bush or harvesting some vegetables, you hear the breeze, you smell the blossoms, and you feel the earth in your hands. All of these things happen while you’re working, but your attention is not solely focused on one fixed point. This allows your mind and body to relax and ease away the stress of the day.
While you’re tending to your garden, you’re actually moving quite a bit. Digging, planting, weeding and other repetitive tasks require strength and stretching. These are excellent forms of low-impact exercise.
If you’re doing a total garden makeover, you can also work in some cardiovascular work. Hauling bags of soil or pushing wheelbarrows full of rocks can really get your heart rate up.
Gardening also puts context behind your fitness. It motivates you to stretch a little further to reach that ripe tomato or pull a little harder to get that pesky weed out of there. It’s fun and goal-oriented, so people are more likely to stick with it and do it often.
Hand Strength and Dexterity
With age, hand strength and dexterity can slowly diminish. Hands often become stiff after years of wear and tear. Gardening incorporates great movements to keep hand muscles vigorous and agile.
However, it’s important not to push yourself too hard. The repetitive motions can sometimes cause inflammation or carpal tunnel syndrome. To help prevent this, make sure you alternate hands to balance your body. Using your non-dominant hand is also a great exercise for your brain to keep it sharp.
If you’ve been neglecting your garden due to pain in your hand, knee, back or any other part of your body, visit Airrosti today. Our providers pinpoint the source of your pain and relieve it quickly so you can get back to doing what you love. Contact Airrosti to find a provider near you!