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Enjoy the Health Benefits of Gardens and Parks

By HERWriter
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enjoying health benefits of parks and gardens Alexander Matvienko/PhotoSpin

One of my favorite books is "The Secret Garden," written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Two major themes that have resonated with me all these years are that "misery begets misery," as well as the sensible words "where you tend a rose ... a thistle cannot grow."

Like in life, the book’s characters flourish while tending to the secret garden on a regular basis.

CNN, USA Today, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently confirmed the many health benefits while gardening.

According to CNN, here are some of the benefits:

• Gardening can ease stress

• Gardening keeps you limber

• Gardening may even improve your mood

• Gardening gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine

• Gardening gets your blood moving

• Gardeners eat more fruits and vegetables than their peers

• Physical activity associated with gardening can help lower the risk of developing dementia

In Canada, USA Today mentioned the trend of horticultural therapists and states that "horticultural therapists believe that the psychological benefits of gardening can be traced to the key role plants played in humankind's evolution."

Also, just walking in a public park or garden can be relaxing and healthy. For example, all around the European city of Prague, you will find parks and gardens in most neighborhoods.

But you won’t find many tourists in these parks because for the people of Prague, the parks are a place of refuge from politics, economic issues, and financial or family problems.

At the gardens and parks of Prague, people slow down, breathe deeper and relax. They absorb the sights and smells of the garden, and revel in the color and smells of these precious areas.

If you are unable to start your own garden at home, seriously consider taking part at a public garden.

For example, in Hawaii and Delaware, there are public spaces which allow community residents to grow plants or vegetables on public lands. In New York City, the Horticultural Society of New York offers different programs on gardening.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.