(BPT) – In this increasingly digital world, there’s an app for just about everything. People are glued to their smartphones, texting instead of talking, and, in general, interacting with technology more than they do with the living, breathing world around them. But there’s a cure for tech overload: Gardening. Whether you’re creating a vegetable garden in your backyard or planting flowers and herbs on your apartment balcony, it’s all about getting outside, feeling the sun on your face, and putting your hands into the soil.
If you find you’re desperately in need of a break from devices, try gardening to get back in touch with what’s real.
If you’ve never gardened before, it might sound intimidating, but just dive in. Plant a flower in the ground or grow herbs on your windowsill and see what happens. Sun, water, and a little TLC is all it takes. You’ll find that gardening is an easy, enjoyable hobby that anyone can learn to do. And it’s good for your health, too. Here are four surprising ways gardening is good for you.
Locally grown food is healthy. Eating local is on trend these days. What’s more local than your own backyard? Pick your veggies at the peak of ripeness and walk 20 feet to your table, rather than having them picked early and transported for 20 (or 200) miles to the grocery store. That means they’re full of flavor and freshness. You’re getting more nutrients, too. The BOOST Collection are plants from Burpee that include specially selected vegetables with higher antioxidants filled with vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, selenium and lycopene. Another health benefit: Growing your own vegetables allows you to choose what fertilizers and pesticides come in contact with your food. Instead of paying more at the grocery store for organic produce, grow it at home for a fraction of the cost. And the convenience factor can’t be beat. Craving a salad for dinner? Pop outside and pick some lettuce.
You’ll have more compassion and less anxiety. Research has found that gardening creates compassion toward others, less worry and anxiety, and lowers depression. Further, people who spend more time around plants are more likely to help others and engage in social relationships. If you want to experience the satisfaction for yourself, start with something simple. Wave Petunias and Cool Wave Pansies are the perfect easy-maintenance, high-performance plants that are great for beginners!
Gardening combats loneliness. Studies show that chronic loneliness increases your risk for all kinds of ailments, from stress hormones to inflammation to heart disease. Gardening combats loneliness by giving us a sense of community as it allows us to come together to enjoy local gardens or meet fellow gardeners in your neighborhood. Looking to go one step further? Start a weekly cooking group with friends using ingredients from your gardens! Get started with one of Burpee’s favorite recipes.
It counts as a workout. You might not think of gardening as a physical activity, but it gets your heart rate pumping. Whether you’re pulling weeds, lifting your Wave petunia planters, or working the soil, research shows you’ll be burning 200 to 400 calories per hour!
So, the next time you’re feeling digital fatigue, let gardening be your refuge. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.