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Gardening and Its Many Health Benefits

Hobbies have a therapeutic effect on people, especially those that suffer from chronic pain. With springtime quickly approaching, participating in outdoor hobbies and enjoying the sunshine is sure to help with your chronic pain. Gardening has both psychological and physical benefits. This beloved hobby can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages, because gardening allows you to connect with nature. Natural sunlight as well as being surrounded by flowers and fresh air is sometimes all our bodies need. 

Gardening Facilitates Movement

Your body takes a toll at work. Sitting in an unnatural forward position at a desk all day and straining your eyes on a computer screen can do a job on your body. If you aren;t shifting your position, going for short walks, or refocusing your eyes, it’s possible that you’ll develop strains in your neck muscles and eye muscles, as well as putting you at an increased risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Freeing your body to garden allows you to move in natural ways, while your mind focuses on meditative tasks. Spending time in the garden is a relieving experience known to reduce stress, keep you agile, and lift your spirits. In fact, studies have shown that gardening can even help those who suffer from depression and anxiety. 

Mental Health Stimulation

While gardening, it’s likely your mind will wander and your worries of daily tasks and stressors will begin to disappear. It’s been scientifically proven that indulging in gardening improves mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder. In fact, a study conducted in Norway recorded the effects of gardening on those who suffer from depression, persistent low mood, and bipolar disorder. Participants spent six hours a day growing vegetables and flowers over a three month period. It was discovered that more than half of the participants experienced a considerable difference in their symptoms. Their moods continued to improve well after the experiment.

Natural Pain Relief

Just by gardening, it’s possible to reach the recommended amount of exercise your body needs weekly, which is about three hours. This is due to the repetitive kneeling, lifting, bending, dragging, and other general movements. Checking in on your beautiful flowers and growing plants gives you something to look forward to each day. Gardening lowers your body’s stress hormones and introduces your body's natural painkillers into your system. Elevated levels of cortisol not only affect your mood, they can also upset your immune function, memory, learning ability, and can even lead to heart disease. Just by being outside decreases your cortisol levels, since Vitamin D is a known source to lower cortisol.

As you can see, having a hobby is a fun and beneficial way to relieve stress, anxiety, and even chronic pain. We, Pain Specialty Group, believe we can help you find a hobby that works for you. Contact Pain Specialty Group here to set up an appointment with one of our expert providers who can help guide you toward pain relief.

Aidan Fisher, Maureen Cassidy Pain Specialty Group

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