Ask Dr. Joseph
Why the time spent in the garden is so precious
In a fast-moving, predominantly technological world, we also have to become faster and faster to keep up at all, so we increasingly lose touch with the essentials. We should take time for a break from everyday life much more often, which leads us back to our origin: nature.
The fact that daily exercise and fresh air are healthy is not new to anyone. But they are especially fun when you can combine them with a useful activity. Gardening is not only trendy nowadays; it also has countless benefits for our physical and mental health. Here we would like to share with you some of them.
Back to the roots
Outdoor life is in the nature of the human being. Thereby, plants have always had a great influence on our well-being. We dig in the soil, plant seeds, do weeding and watering. While gardening, we are entirely in the here and now, dealing with earthly things. Everyday stress disappears and fades into the background.
The fact that nature still has a strong attraction for us can be seen especially in spring. The days become longer and you feel that you long for sun and light and are full of energy. You should definitely follow this desire. Even 20 minutes in nature is like a short vacation for our body.
It is no secret that many of us have a vitamin D deficiency. This is because we, as humans, have significantly changed our lifestyle habits and do not spend enough time exposed to sunlight. Yet vitamin D is a very special vitamin. It is the only vitamin that the human body can produce on its own and the only nutrient not primarily absorbed through food, but through the sun. The warming rays not only brighten our mood, but the precious vitamin D, whose production in the body is unfortunately almost completely prevented by the use of sunscreen from SPF 8, is essential for cellular health and the strengthening of our bones. The fairer the skin type, the faster the daily requirement of vitamin D is covered: very fair skin types only need 10 minutes of direct sunlight per day. The easiest way to achieve this is to do some regular work in your garden. Sunlight also improves our internal clock. So spending a lot of time outdoors makes it easier to wake up and fall asleep.
Balsam for the soul
A garden can act as a natural antidepressant. The bacteria living in the soil can have a beneficial effect on our psyche and the germs strengthen our immune system, which in turn supports mental health. The green color of plants also stimulates happy hormones in the brain. Nature has found answers to countless questions. We just have to look and engage with its genius. Working in nature and observing what you plant flourishing, and being creative with your plants quickly makes worries and problems disappear from your mind.
Gardening also lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke. Light to moderate activities train the cardiovascular system, which has a positive effect on blood pressure. Besides, there is a change in pain perception and an improvement in the musculoskeletal system. People who have pain in joints, for example, perceive it less or not at all outside.
Habitat for insects
As individuals embedded in a community, we decide today on the future of tomorrow – on diversity or uniformity, on sustainability, on closeness to nature, on pure egoism or on respect for nature and society. Far too rarely do we realize that insects, in particular, represent an extraordinary diversity and a unique biological wealth and ensure biodiversity and thus the stability of the Earth system. That is why it should be a priority for each of us to regularly give something back to nature and not just take something away.
Integrating various flowering plants into the home garden is an important step that helps to attract and protect insects. The colorful flowers are not only beautiful for the eye, but also tasty for our little friends.
A valuable insect diversity and biodiversity lead to a healthy food chain cycle, producing fertile soils, a healthy environment and, subsequently, healthy food. Millions of insects, bumblebees, grasshoppers, dung beetles, butterflies, lacewings, cockchafer beetles, moths, ichneumon wasps, bees, hoverflies, and many more, process our “waste products” into high-quality humus for free, thereby ensuring clean conditions on earth. They also pollinate billions of tons of plants, which depend on insects’ support for their reproduction.
A garden is the best basis for taking a step towards sustainability. Instead of regularly buying fresh food in supermarkets, you can also grow your fruit, vegetables and herbs in your own garden. This way, you harvest healthy food in addition to physical activity and relaxation. With everything you grow yourself, you can be sure that no harmful chemicals have been used and besides, you know exactly where it comes from. If you’re honest, food grown on your own also tastes way better.
However, to avoid chemical pesticides, you protect your plants more efficiently and sustainably with the right garden bed partners. For example, basil protects tomatoes from mildew and lavender drives away aphids from the roses.
Once you have accompanied a vegetable from sowing to harvesting, you only realize how much time this process takes. You learn to adapt to the pace of nature, become more patient and appreciate the products much more.
A garden represents a place full of life; at the same time, it provides space for retreat and relaxation. Every moment we spend in nature enriches us on a physical and mental level.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOU
Dr. Joseph FranzDate