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Who would have thought that the humble activity of pruning roses, digging trenches, or planting bulbs can help you live a happier and longer life? The good news is, this activity is accessible to everyone, young and old – and it doesn’t matter if you have that rare ‘green thumb’ or not.

A 2016 research gathered substantial evidence to support the claim that gardening can have long term effects on the overall physical, psychological, and social health of an individual. In addition, the study have concluded that this type of activity can reduce or even prevent several health issues that are common today.

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So what are the specific benefits of gardening to our overall well-being?

First, as a physical activity, gardening is estimated to burn 200-500 calories in every hour you spend with your plants. Children and even the elderly can enjoy such benefits that can help maintain a healthy weight and fight the causes of obesity.

Taking care of your plants and home-grown herbs can also contribute to the increase of your bone density – second to weight training. In fact, a recent study has indicated that women who do weekly activities from doing yard work and gardening have higher bone density measurements than those who are inactive.

Aside from its physical benefits, gardening is also one of the best and cost-effective ways to improve one’s mental health especially for mothers with depression. This is because of how gardening immerses them natural and healthy environment while promoting an active engagement in such creative and positive routine.

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In fact, further studies have claimed that sufferers of dementia can rely on horticultural therapy, a non-pharmacological option that helps improve the patient’s attention, reduce stress and help improve their sleep patterns.

Outside health, gardening can also be a potential source of additional income. Hobbyists can channel their passion into business by serving as suppliers to organic restaurants and other local food businesses. Especially with the emergence of the farm-to-table concept, small and independent farmers play a key role in building sustainable businesses. Many of today’s most successful restaurants source their ingredients from local farmers, cutting carbon emissions from long-distance delivery and empowering the lives of small-scale growers.