Gardening - brain activity boost - weight loss

Gardening could be that amazing hobby that helps you live over 100, like Captain Sir Thomas Moore!

It is said that the UK is a nation of gardeners and that gardening lovers live longer and are less stressed…
So, no matter how old you are or feel, why not challenge yourself and get into the joyful spirit of getting back to nature, gardening and growing flowers and plants, one of the most delightful and satisfying outdoors activities that has the miraculous power to change lives and make you feel alive.

Gardening is one of the most beautiful, healthy, and rewarding activities that can be done by anyone no matter their level of fitness, physical ability, creativity, or singing skills.

Fresh green and colorful garden
Fresh green colorful garden - Pixabay Krzysztof Niewolny

Gardening is good for you - health benefits - brain activity boost - weight loss!

Especially for women over fifties our muscles and bones structure changes, the joints get stiffer, the arms weaker and the energy level decreases. 

Spending more time outdoors gardening in the fresh air, working and even meditating and filling your lungs with pure oxygen, connecting with nature and being in touch with plenty of green plants and blooming flowers, surrounded by a variety of amazing delicate natural scents, while creating a beautiful colorful space, can help to regain physical strength, improve your immune system and maintain bone density, reduce the risk of stroke, dementia and osteoporosis, reduce depression, anger and stress, improve sleep and coping with chronic illness.

1. Gardening is perfect to boost brain activity! 

Your brain benefits immensely from the time spent in the garden, as the fresh air and sunshine is a very effective way to de-stress, boost your mood, helps unleash your imagination making you surprisingly creative, start humming, singing, and be more cheerful.

2. Gardening is good for weight loss 

Depending on what you’d like to do in your yard, gardening could be a moderate to a strenuous form of exercise, similar to the effort involved while walking, weightlifting, and bicycling, and is more beneficial if you could be active there for more than 30 minutes.
Being active in the garden moving for about 2 - 3 hours (digging, weeding, planting, and watering) can help burn off a few kilos in a week. It is said that weeding for 30 min can burn up to 150 calories, and heavier tasks like digging and hedge trimming can burn over 400 calories per hour.
All-in-all being active in your lovely garden for 30 - 45 minutes can burn up to 300 calories. It’s a win-win!

Moreover, one of the most important aspects of gardening is that if you manage to grow your own plants and veggies, besides the therapeutic properties of cultivating and growing, you can be healthier eating your own fruits, vegetables, and seasoning.

Home gardening
Home garden - Flickr Wicker Paradise

3. Growing your own fruits, herbs and veggies are good for you!

Create your garden of color by growing your own herbs and vegetables, as much possible the organic way, without adding pesticides or any other artificial chemicals,  you’ll eat a higher quantity of natural, nourishing food rich in beneficial minerals (calcium, copper, iron, sodium, magnesium) that will improve your wellbeing, as well as your health, and who knows, you may become ageless!

Various studies revealed that eating plenty of natural fruits, herbs, and vegetables, especially for women over fifties, can help lower the risk of osteoporosis, bone density problems, or the process of breaking down and forming new bones, improve eyesight and blood pressure.
In this regard most beneficial veggies, herbs and fruits are broccoli, cabbage, carrots, onion, parsley, spinach, apples, blueberries, grapes, raspberries, and strawberries.

4. Your garden becomes an extension of your home

If you have some extra space, you can extend your home into your garden, adding few pieces of leisure furniture (coffee table, chairs, eventually sofas, cushions and throws, candles or outdoor heaters and lighting) creating a cozy space and atmosphere that can be enjoyed all year round, have a delicious morning coffee, 5’o clock cream tea, brunch, lunch, dinner, a glass of fizz or whatever you prefer with your family and friends, read a good book, bathe in the sun or simply watch to the bees and butterflies and listen to the pale wind playing around.

Your garden will be the perfect place to have a good read while watching the flowers changing shape and leaves changing color.

Gardening wildife hedgehog
Gardening wildlife hedgehog - Pixabay Capri23auto

Easy ways to zone and design your garden:

- decide if you want a flower, a food garden, or a mixture, the climate, growing seasons for your plants
- consider your garden’s aesthetics, and how you’ll use different zones to match your needs: flowers, herbs, and veggies growing zone, nature zone, seating and relaxation zone, or even barbecue area, make a plan and design it
- keep it simple and containable
- create different zones in your garden that will offer a place for/ include everyone
- use the right fencing and panels to break up zones and also create privacy from your neighbors, allow sunlight or shade - make wider safer paths and narrower growing areas that make them more accessible
- if space allows, set a wooden bench and a coffee table at the furthermost, sunniest point
- combine different types of surfaces - paving, decking, natural or artificial grass, perhaps insert a small pond. If you opt for natural grass, leave it to grow long and watch the delightful dance of bees and butterflies coming to feed and breed.
- chose plants that go all year round and are easy to maintain planting more perennials, such as shrubs, which require little maintenance
- set raised beds to give a sense of order and define areas that need more attention
- reduce weeds spreading and feed the soil using organic mulches (thick layers of compost, straws, or wood chippings) 
- create a fresh green and colorful garden all year round - get expert advice, check online, join a course or simply use your imagination and choose good quality and more resilient flowers and plants that last for longer, get some roses or breeds that go along together
- you may also like to leave some areas of your garden to grow wild providing places to shelter, forage and feed that will also make you feel good knowing that you helped the environment

Wildlife in your back garden 

Your lovely garden will become more harmonious with nature and beneficial for some helpful:
- insects (bees and butterflies will pollinate your flowers, fruits, herbs, and vegetables; ladybirds and hoverflies will eat the aphids)
- birds will eat the aphids and sing all day long
- frogs, toads, and ground beetles will love the slugs; hedgehogs will eat snails, slugs, and insects
- your hoppy furry pet cat or dog will be more than thrilled to have its own territory  to go around, be the queen or king of the place, be outdoors, lay in the sun, and take a bath in the pond
- and if you have toddlers and children around they’ll have an amazing chance to learn about insects, birds, and tiny animals seen in your garden, get the feeling of ownership and responsibility.
Gardening children fun
Gardening fun for children - Flickr Bluebell

Your tasty scented garden brings joy, especially over the fifties!

Read and learn about flowers, herbs, and plants, experiment with gardening, and (if you are new to it) start by taking care of just one plant to see how it grows from a packet of seeds, what it takes, and how good you’ll feel keeping something so fragile healthy, alive and in bloom with flowers. Your “baby plant” and new accomplishment!

And once your first “harvest” will be produced from a small patch of land, and you’ll taste from your own freshly produced herbs, plants, or fruits, and see how delicious they are, nothing can beat the feeling.
Your first mint tea or mojito topped with a zesty flavored mint leaf…
Nothing could be more rewarding than a brightened area of blooming flowers in the yard spreading their unique scent, and your Eco air-freshener made from own lavender flowers popped up through the soil of your garden…

Gardening funny quotes:

“I have no plants in my house. They won’t live for me. Some of them don’t even wait to die, they commit suicide.” - Jerry Seinfeld

“A weed is a plant that is not only in the wrong place but intends to stay.” - Sara Stein

“A man should never plant a garden larger than his wife can take care of.” - T.H. Everett

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” - Claude Monet

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.“ - Thomas Jefferson

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