An older man helps his granddaughter plant a seedling in his garden.
Gardening positively impacts us and the people around us.

The Many Health Benefits of Gardening


By Mia Bencivenga


July 28, 2021

Gardening can seem like an intimidating project but it’s truly something that everyone can — and should — do! Why? Well, even a small garden can help you reap some pretty big physical and mental health rewards! Read all about how gardening can boost your well-being below.

1] Helps you de-stress
Looking for a positive way to relax after a stressful day? Multiple studies show that gardening is an excellent way to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. 

2] Boosts your mood
In addition to helping you wind down and de-stress, gardening can make you feel happier in general! According to a recent study, gardening has been linked to greater emotional wellbeing for people who live in urban areas. This suggests that a little bit of nature can be a big source of joy!

3] Gives you a sense of accomplishment
Whether you have a few plants by your windowsill or a big bustling garden, having an ongoing project can give you a sense of accomplishment. Even when life gets crazy, you can take a moment to pause and admire your handiwork! 

4] Supports a healthy brain
A recent study from Korea has revealed that seniors who took up gardening had better cognitive functioning and brain nerve growth factor than those who did not. I think that’s good news for gardeners of any age!

5] Helps you unleash your creativity 
Designing a garden of any size is a great way to express yourself! Gardening gives you the power to create something from scratch that reflects your tastes and desires. Through gardening, we can truly make our environment our own. 

6] Makes socializing a breeze
Gardening doesn’t have to be a solitary activity! You can encourage friends or family to join in and enjoy the literal fruits of your labor. Or you can help with a local community garden and meet an entire network of local farmers.

7] Helps you give back to your community
If you have extra fresh produce, giving to a local food pantry is a wonderful way to use your garden to give back to others. You can also donate your skills to a neighborhood garden, and even offer to teach others how they can grow their own flowers or veggies!


8] Gives you vitamin D
Being outside gives you exposure to the sun, and with that comes the opportunity to get precious vitamin D! For those who aren’t familiar, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is the real deal when it comes to health and wellness. In fact, vitamin D has been linked to better immune function, lower risk of certain diseases, and better mental health. 

9] Encourages you to get your fingers dirty 
Have you ever noticed that babies LOVE to play in the dirt? Well, it turns out they could be onto something! Evidence shows that microbes in the dirt are good for allergy sufferers and inflammatory diseases — giving us all the more reason to get our hands dirty!

10] Makes you stronger
Contrary to what you may think, gardening is a serious form of exercise! In fact, working in the garden regularly is a great way to help build up strength and dexterity in your hands.

11] Supports heart health
Any activity that gets you moving is usually good for your heart — and gardening is no exception! Plus, you don’t need to do a lot to make a big impact. Studies show that people who gardened less than one hour per week reduced their risk of heart disease by 12 percent! That’s a big result from such a small effort. 

12] Helps you (and everyone around you!) eat healthier
Did you know adults should get two to three cups of vegetables per day? By growing your own fresh fruits and veggies, it’s easier than ever to get the freshest, ripest, and best-tasting fruits and vegetables onto your plate.


Mia Bencivenga is a regular columnist with The Green Voice Weekly Newsletter