There are more than 3 ways to improve YOU with organic gardening, of course. You might suggest, too, that organic gardening is more about earth-improvement than it is about self-improvement. I agree that organic gardening can improve the earth, and I want to help you learn three ways to improve you with organic gardening.
The 3 Ways to Improve YOU with Organic Gardening
Most of us include fitness under the broader category of self-improvement. Hundreds of thousands of books feature physical fitness as one area of self-improvement. You might also be looking for self-improvement in the area of emotional fitness. Finally, most of us need self-improvement in the area of nutritional fitness.
Organic gardening can improve you in all of those important ways.
Of all the self-improvement areas, physical fitness often comes to mind first. You look at a bare garden plot and expect me to discuss the muscle-building exercise you get in organic gardening. I won’t say that because you already know it’s true. What you may not know is what it can do for your overall physical fitness. We’re standing at a crossroads of new path choices and this is a choice you may need to make.
Blood Pressure: Is your blood pressure higher than recommended numbers? Organic gardening can improve your physical fitness by lowering your blood pressure. Let’s say you get out in your garden for a mere 30 minutes each day. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), that half hour can make a big difference in your blood pressure. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/hbp_low.pdf
Weight Loss: Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, is quoted as saying, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” While I disagree with the duchess, we all know people whose physical fitness would improve by burning off some extra calories. One way to lose weight and improve you is with organic gardening. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows on a chart that you will likely burn 165 calories in the 30 minutes we mentioned above. You couldn’t burn that much if you rode your bicycle for a half hour – and the bicycle ride would not produce fresh veggies! https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html?s_cid=tw_ob387
Vitamin D: Vitamin D carried out important tasks in your body. Those muscles you built use up vitamin D in moving. Your nerves must have vitamin D to convey messages to and from your brain. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium to keep your bones strong. Gardening exposes you to the best source of vitamin D – the sun (a good reason to use a hat and sunscreen while gardening). Regular gardening, concludes the National Institute of Health (NIH) “…reduces the likelihood of inadequate vitamin D status …. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983246/
Physical Fitness, then, is one way to improve you with organic gardening.
Now you may expect me to tell you that just being outdoors, grubbing around in the dirt will make you more fit emotionally. You’ll slow down and “feel good”. That is one way to look at it, but not a very thorough way. And you know by now that I want to show you some unexpected areas of emotional fitness that organic gardening can improve.
Emotional fitness needs little definition, especially when you’re thinking of it in connection with your own self-improvement. You want to be able to reject negative thoughts and enjoy every part of your life.
Stress: There is such a thing as good stress, called eustress, and you can learn about it here. The flip side is distress, which can drain from you every ounce of ambition and keep you from succeeding in any part of life. That’s why a self-improvement discussion needs to focus on the kind of stress that needs to be changed – weeded out, if we stick with the gardening theme.
Studies show that gardening promotes neuroendocrine and emotional restoration from stress. Researchers refer to it as Horticultural Therapy (HT), which means gardening therapy, and believe it may lessen the kinds of stress veterans experience. Organic gardening causes the level of cortisol to decrease and make you less depressed. They found that gardening may be even better than occupational therapy to reduce stress. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26030115
Procrastination: This opposite of “action” must be overcome if you want to enjoy emotional fitness. Your emotions suffer when you put off doing things that you want to do. If you want to improve yourself, increasing your emotional fitness, it is important to conquer procrastination, and organic gardening is a perfect way to do that.
You see, your organic garden pays you wages. It pays exactly what you earn with your action or inaction. Procrastinate and it pays in pests. Procrastinate more and it pays in weeds. Those warnings should jolt your desire for emotional fitness, but the organic garden will continue to add dire wages including disease and death of your plants.
Overcome your procrastination by taking care of the garden’s needs before that occurs, and your emotional fitness increases. Conquer procrastination in this area of life, and you will be better equipped to conquer it in other areas – progressively adding to the emotional fitness you desire.
Emotional Fitness is a second way to improve you with organic gardening.
You might call this “marching” fitness. Centuries ago, Napoleon stated that “an army marches on its stomach” meaning that military forces needed proper provisions if they were to move forward into battle. Notice that the marching force needed “proper” provisions. It isn’t enough to just eat a lot of food. Carbohydrates have a place and so does protein, but “proper provisions” means the most nourishing food for the body.
Nutritional fitness can prevent serious illness or disease, improve your health, and improve you in the other two fitness areas already discussed. It can sharpen your brain power also! Imagine going to work with an alert brain because you have begun eating produce from your organic gardening efforts.
Organic gardening can provide you with enough food with high nutrient content to keep you going and keep you from getting hurt or sick. It can give you fresh, organic fruit and vegetables at your fingertips – important sources of those nutrients.
Of course, when your food comes from your own organic garden, picked only a short time before you eat it, you like it better and get greater benefit. Study for yourself, and you will learn how, …”on average, organic food contains higher levels of Vitamin C and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium…” http://www.saferbrand.com/advice/organic-gardening/why-organic
I’ve given 3 ways to improve YOU with organic gardening, but many others pop up when you begin researching the subject. Even the social aspects of organic gardening as a family or at a local community garden have self-improvement value. This article should just get you started in the right direction.