Long Life and Health
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Aging

Can Keeping a Garden Increase Longevity?

Learning how to live longer is often connected to a back-to-nature approach. Researchers have known for years that human life expectancy seems to be extended among those who spend more time outdoors. People that practice keeping a garden seem to have found one secret of the longevity paradox.

Benefits of Gardening

Nearly every place where gardening is regularly practiced by seniors, there is notable longevity. This is true of several countries where the people lived that had an average longer lifespan. They have been observed to be healthier, more active, and live longer.

Less Dementia

One group of researchers in Australia discovered that those who tend to a garden regularly also had a 36 percent lower likelihood of getting dementia than those who did not. It was also observed that being out in the sunlight and getting fresh air also helped gardeners to feel less stressed.

Less Stress

Being out in the open air and seeing lush green plants also has been observed to reduce stress. It helps to reduce stress and blood pressure and taking a walk in nature is now being recommended by doctors in various places as part of a patient’s treatment for some illnesses. Having less stress may also help lead to more normal weight because, when stressed, people tend to eat more comfort food.

Reduces Risk of Death from Any Cause

One 12-year study that was conducted in Sweden discovered that gardening and even taking care of a lawn helped to reduce the likelihood of death from any cause. It reduced the risk of death by nearly 30 percent.

Strengthens Your Immune System

By coming in physical contact with soil, you can strengthen your immune system. Soil contains a lot of microorganisms, and when you come in contact with soil often, it strengthens your immune system and helps keep it strong.

People that rarely actually touch soil often have autoimmune problems. Because of the microorganisms found in soil, there is no substitute for just plain getting your hands dirty. A stronger immune system will enable you to stay healthier – which means you will probably live longer. Regular contact seems to have better effects than occasional contact.

Encourages Exercise

Working in a garden will also provide you with some exercise. Since gardening requires frequent work to keep it looking good, it can help you get the activity you need for better health. It can include lifting, digging, raking, bending, pulling weeds, etc. – all of which help you to keep moving and stretching.

Boosts Healthy Eating

If your garden grows vegetables, you also get the benefit of better nutrition. Eating more vegetables will help ensure that you eat a healthier diet – and you will not need to buy them at the grocery store when they are in season. You can also be sure that they are fresh, and you might even can or freeze some for later. Fresh vegetables contain more nutrients than most vegetables you will buy from the store.

Besides the vegetables and fruits you could grow in your garden, you can also plant some medicinal herbs. These can also help reduce your medical bills if you know which ones to grow and when to best use them.

Lose Weight

Surveys have also discovered that people that take part in regular gardening typically weigh less than those that do not. Being in the outdoors more, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, and getting in some exercise add up to a difference of weighing about 13 pounds less.

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