Have you thought about gardening this year and growing your own fruits and vegetables or some lovely flowers? With April being National Garden Month and Earth Day coming up in just a few days, now's the perfect time to get out there and do something that's beneficial for, not only you, but also the environment.
Gardening is a good low- to moderate-impact exercise that you can do that works all of the major muscle groups in your body. Unlike jogging or sports like tennis and basketball, gardening doesn't put a lot of pressure or strain on your joints. It can actually be a great way to stay active and keep your joints and muscles healthy, especially if you have arthritis.
Gardening combines physical activity with exposure to sunlight. As I just mentioned, regular physical activity helps with lowering your blood pressure. And believe it or not, sunlight has actually been known to help lower your blood pressure too.
The nitric oxide that's in your skin reacts to the sunlight in a way that widens your blood vessels, allowing for easier blood flow and decreased blood pressure.
That doesn't mean you should skip the sunscreen though. Be sure to wear it any time you're outside.
Spending time in nature and around plants has been known to help relieve stress, anxiety, and improve your mood. It can help you feel more positive and generate feelings of calmness and joy.
Gardening can further help quiet your mind by allowing you to focus on a singular task and quiet some of those negative or stressful thoughts.
Gardening is a great way to get the whole family involved. You can do it in your own backyard or work in a community garden. It can help promote family bonding, social interaction, and healthy eating habits.
If you're growing fruits and vegetables, you're most likely enjoying them once they're ripe. Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthier and more balanced diet.
Plants are vital for the Earth. They produce the oxygen that we need to live and make up a good portion of our food. They also help the soil by serving as a protective layer that can help prevent soil erosion.
The largest source of greenhouse gases is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation. Carbon emissions are a greenhouse gas that prevent heat from escaping our atmosphere which can result in a disruption in weather patterns.
When you grow your own food, you're helping reduce carbon emissions that occur from packing, refrigerating, and transporting foods. You can further help reduce carbon emissions by staying away from pesticides or other chemicals that can contribute to climate change.
Deforestation is a common threat among all animals. Growing a garden, even in your own backyard, can help create a living environment for different animals like birds, bees, butterflies, and squirrels.
Cut down on your kitchen and yard waste by starting a compost pile. Creating a compost pile can help your garden thrive and help keep waste out of land fills that can then contribute to global warming.
What plants you should grow largely depends on where you live and which plants are best suited for your type of environment.
If you're a beginner gardener, here are a few plants that are relatively easy to grow and take care of:
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