People who spend time tending their gardens are likely to be more optimistic, physically active and healthy — compared with those who don't garden. A study, published in a journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, found that reconnecting with nature, watching things grow and working with soil have a positive impact on your quality of life.
The study analyzed the answers of 298 men and women over the age of 50 on their activities and satisfaction with life. The answers of those who gardened and those who didn’t were then compared. The result: About 96 percent of gardeners – whether they were light gardeners or spent hours nurturing flowers and vegetables – reported they did not find their daily activities boring or monotonous. 71 percent of participants felt energetic and 74 percent said they were confident that they would attain many of their lifetime goals. On the contrary, those who did not garden were more likely to find their life dull and less likely to feel energetic or satisfied with personal goals they had set.
Some experts now believe that the restorative benefits of nature can lower blood pressure, boost immune function and reduce stress. It’s a great way to exercise, get exposure to vitamin D from the sun and counter seasonal depression. "These findings are important because they show that people can be happier and healthier simply by planting a pot of pansies or growing some tomato plants in a sunny spot," says J. David Williams, head of the Department of Horticulture at Auburn University.
So brush off those gardening gloves and pick up some potted plants to take out to the garden!