Health Hacks

Studies Show That Gardening May Very Well Replace The Gym—Gives One Heck Of A Work Out

Just about anyone who is anyone knows how sometimes squeezing in a few minutes of exercise is the last thought on our minds

It is just a known fact that exercising is usually not on the top of most peoples list of things to do.  Taking into consideration that the recommended amount of exercise is at least 150 minutes per week, and you can see how at times the actual getting in of those minutes can appear daunting.

However, what if you were able to reap both the emotional as well as physical benefits of getting your workout in, utilizing another method—such as a favorite leisure activity.  Well, according to yet another new study, you can—through the relaxing process of gardening.

Image: Queens Botanical Garden

Researchers from across the world- China, Texas and North Carolina, tracked data acquired through the process of a long term study.  In the study, they examined and measured what is commonly referred to as “leisure-time physical activity.”  The study also examined the activities and compared them to various forms of death, which included both cardiovascular disease and cancer.

What made this study so different from others is the time span at which it was conducted.  A span of eleven years, with 90,000 participants, fed into the data that was collected.

The results indicated that by the process of performing a leisurely activity—such as gardening, dancing or going for a walk for anywhere from 10 to 59 minutes each week—actually reduced all cause of mortality by 18 percent.  The mortality rate decreased exponentially based on the amount of activity, such as 150 to 299 minutes of activity each week led to 31 percent of all-cause of mortality.

Image: Ontario ARC

That brings us back to gardening.  Other than the fact that it does act as a form of exercise, there are other side benefits as well.  Gardening has also shown to be linked to the lessening of depression and anxiety in most age groups and has even been linked to a reduction in falls in the elderly.  Finally, studies have shown a significant decrease in stress, and the ability to reduce or even eliminate the need for medications.