Partaking in horticulture doesn’t just make your yard prettier and neater. This activity does so much more than just give you fresh, natural vegetables – it boosts your health. Of course, students see the biggest benefit, because their still-developing body makes use of the fresh air and physical activity.
A big percentage of students traditionally don’t like to exercise; however, gardening poses a great alternative to going to the gym, doing yoga, or lifting weight. Let’s see in detail which benefits students participating in horticulture get.
Instills Love for Vegetables and Fruits
The United States of America doesn’t really have the best record when it comes to people eating fruits and vegetables, especially the children. The parents of this country are happy to stuff their children full of fats and sugars.
If you’re someone that disagrees vehemently with this situation, then starting a garden is a great way to bring in more vegetables and fruits onto the household dinner table. When such simple things as tomatoes, pickles, and cabbages grow outside of your home and are readily available, many children start to think of vegetables (and fruits by extension) as an essential part of their ration.
Keeps the Weight in Check
Another anti-record that the USA has a definite lead in the world over other countries is the rate of child obesity. Sadly, our ways of living and eating habits only strengthen this statistic more and more each year. Gardening can help in this regard, too, outside of facilitating healthy foods.
Gardeners have outstandingly low BMI (Body Mass Index), according to statistics. Besides, the overweight people who start regularly gardening lose on average from 12 to 17 pounds. This is what the mentioned above physical activity, and fresh air affects our bodies, and it’s wonderful!
Maintains Muscles and Joints
Are you under the impression that gardening can’t be that hard? Well, if you think that gardening can’t possibly give anyone enough physical activity, then think again. Carrying bags upon bags of fertilizer, sowing, seeding, hoeing, picking weeds, shoveling, moving equipment – all of these actions add up to a very impressive workout.
Participating in horticulture significantly promotes muscle strength and joint health. This has been proven over and over. What separates gardening from other types of exercises and workouts it that gardening has a clear purpose other than simply ‘look good’ or ‘get in good health.’ This purpose drives people and especially students (who can get unmotivated easily) to partake in horticulture, which benefits their health as a side effect.
The life of a teenager is a very stressful one. The pressure of the peers to keep up, stay trendy, and not do anything stupid or awkward presides over the lives of numerous students. Additionally, there is the pressure to perform well academically, comply with deadlines, be a good essay writer, etc. From the perspective of the average student, this is honestly overwhelming.
Gardening can help with this, too – research was conducted to find out what can calm human astronauts in space. The results have shown that doing even the tiniest bit of horticulture soothes the anxieties in people significantly. If caring and nurturing vegetation can help astronauts, then gardening will definitely help students ease off some of their everyday stresses.
Makes Heart Attacks Less Probable
Although gardening is a physical exercise, we’re aware that it doesn’t really compare to cardio-intensive workouts that benefit one of our most important muscles, the heart so much. Still, growing vegetation does indeed reduce the possibility of a heart attack, and actually, it can extend a person’s lifespan by over 30%.
Of course, the sooner a person gets started in the horticulture, the bigger and more lasting these beneficial effects will be. These benefits seem to come from it combining demanding physical activity with the stress-relieving function. Even something as small as regularly caring for a plant on your desk may improve the persons’ quality of life.
Enhances the Immune System
Last but not least, playing in the dirt and cultivating vegetation may have a serious impact on your health, but not in the way you might think. It would be logical to assume that being exposed to dirt and having to work in it would expose you to some nasty bacteria and viruses and make you sick.
Yet, the absolute opposite happens, your organism gets more and more proficient at fighting off invading bugs. Due to this, your immune system gets a significant boost. As of today, we live in a highly-sterilized environment, and many children’s immune system is too weak because of this. So, gardening students will have incredibly strong defense mechanisms in the future.
The Answer Is Obvious
One of the biggest pluses of this activity that we didn’t mention is that it’s fun, and young students will enjoy doing it a lot. Having so many benefits, it would be silly to dismiss horticulture. Think about how you can introduce horticulture to your students and get working together in the garden.