Gardening is Good for You...

By Master Gardener Peter Coppola

Burlington Garden Club member

Gardening is Good For You... and the Community

Puttering in the garden, weeding, and cleaning planting beds is an aerobic exercise. All of that twisting, bending, reaching, and pulling strengthens muscles and improves stamina. It keeps our hand muscles limber and strong. Gardening tasks are a great way to retain strength and ability while having fun.

One hour of gardening aerobic exercise can burn over 300 calories/hour, more than you’ll burn per hour walking at a moderate pace in the neighborhood. It is a great way to get sunshine and improve your immune system to help fight off colds and vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, a mineral essential for bone formation.

A cubic foot of healthy garden soil contains trillions of microbes that are overwhelmingly beneficial to plants and humans. One species of bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, has been linked to decreasing symptoms of psoriasis, allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.

One of the most satisfying rewards is when a group of volunteers come together to help someone in need. Studies show that people who volunteer on collaborative projects like our community gardens have significantly better self-esteem, a happier disposition, and general good health compared to those who did not garden.