Gardening: The Ultimate Mind-Body Workout

It’s not difficult to see that gardening is great light exercise, right? Hauling mulch bags, turning the compost, digging holes and raking leaves all use your entire body, stretching and building muscle. But what if you knew that gardening is actually good for your emotional health as well? In fact, gardening is known to be beneficial for every single part of you — body, mind and spirit.

As a cancer survivor and garden designer, I can attest to the fact that gardening is a mood lifter, a body balancer and a mind clearer. So much so, that as I was recovering from treatment, I was compelled to write a book on the subject, “The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion: Cultivating Hope, Healing & Joy in the Ground Beneath Your Feet,” as a way of helping other people use their gardens as resources for a happier, healthier and more balanced life. Gardens can lift your mood and soothe your soul, making even the most stressed-out person more balanced and healthy.

Most of us have too many things going on in our lives on a day-to-day basis. Whether we work outside the home, have a busy desk job or take care of children, we try to be multi-tasking champions, often at the risk of our own health. Experts call this “Directed Attention Fatigue” — our minds are forced to focus too long and too hard, with overloading and constant stimuli. It’s not good for anyone, and it can take a serious toll on every part of us.

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Washington FAMILY Staff

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