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Gardening Health Benefits?

By August 3, 2008 - 7:37am
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I have decided to try my hand at gardening. I was hoping to find some motivation as to the health benefits of gardening! Such things like: calories expended as a form of exercise, mood enhancement with gardening as a hobby...and also the benefits of eating vegetables grown yourself (without pesticides).

Are there any good online sources of gardening health benefits, for Gardening 101?

Do you grow your own herbs and vegetables? If so, I would love to learn more!


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Health benefits of gardening
Free2BMe, Good for you that you're looking to start your own garden. Did find some information from the former editor of National Gardening and here's how he broke down the different calorie expenditures for a 180-pound person during 30 minutes of gardening:

Watering lawn or garden 61
Mowing lawn (riding) 101
Trimming shrubs (power) 142
Raking 162
Bagging leaves 162
Planting seedlings 162
Mowing (push with motor) 182
Planting trees 182
Snow thrower (walking) 182
Trimming shrubs (manual) 182
Weeding 182
Clearing land 202
Digging, spading, tilling 202
Laying sod 202
General gardening 202
Chopping wood 243
Gardening with heavy powertools 243
Mowing lawn (push mower) 243
Shoveling snow 243
Double digging 344
Shoveling heavy snow 364

For more, you may want to check out the book "Fitness the Dynamic Gardening Way" by Jeff Restuccio.

In terms of mood, you'll be happy to know that spending time outdoors -- especially a slow cruise around your garden can be extremely good for you. In fact, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that women recovering from breast-cancer surgery discovered that walks in the garden helped restore their ability to concentrate and reduce their depression.

With regard to growing your own fruits and vegetables, from the moment a fruit or vegetable is picked -- it loses its nutritional benefits especially in terms of vitamin content. With your own garden, you can be sure that fruit eaten the same day it's picked is probably higher in vitamins than food that has to travel for a day or two. Also, as a gardener, you'll likely get more fruits and vegetables into your diet as opposed to non-gardeners or so says the Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior.

And as you mentioned, the desire to minimize food treated with pesticides (although even some home gardeners find critters on their plants they don't want to deal with) is much more appealing.

Hope that helps.

August 3, 2008 - 8:23am
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