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In Bloom: Gardening Cultivates A Healthier Way of Life

September 9, 2015

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies, and it’s easy to understand why. With gardening you can enjoy the fresh air, get a little sun, let your creativity shine and literally enjoy the fruits of your labor, which are always beautiful and delicious!

 

Horticulture produces many aesthetically pleasing perks of course, but did you know that it also cultivates loads of health benefits as well? Not only can it naturally replenish your daily-recommended vitamin D dosage, rejuvenate your senses and invigorate your spirit, but it can also encourage healthy eating habits, reduce the risk for obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, premature death, and so much more!

 

Gardening has been shown to help lower the stress hormone cortisol, which contributes to heart disease and can worsen pre-existing conditions in the body. By spending quality time tilling the soil with loved ones, or simply enjoying a quiet and solitary respite from the tension of daily life, gardening is a wonderful way to combat stress, improve dexterity and feel a sense of accomplishment.

 

We all know that playing in the dirt is fun, but one long-term study actually found that the psychological benefits of daily gardening represented the single biggest risk reduction for dementia, reducing incidence by 36%! Researchers believe that gardening involves so many of our critical functions including strength, endurance, dexterity, learning, problem solving, and sensory awareness, that its benefits are likely to represent a multitude of valuable qualities.

 

So whether you are young, or young at heart; you live on acres or in an apartment; you have no experience or you’re an expert; having a green thumb is one of the best ways to keep your health in full bloom!

 

The rooftop garden at The Merion, which is planted and maintained by residents, boasts a bountiful crop of cherry, green and red tomatoes, eggplant, squash, hot peppers, bell peppers and more.

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