Mercy’s Dr. Kathryn Boling Discusses the Health Effects of Gardening
Gardening helps de-stress because it is like a meditation of sorts. While we are focused on planting and pruning our mind quiets down. That calms us and the result is decreased secretion of stress hormones (like cortisol). Being outside in nice weather with birds singing, perhaps a breeze is also very relaxing.
Before using gardening to de-stress you might want to make sure you like the activity, you have the right tools, you do not overdo (gardening is actually real exercise -so you don't want to jump in doing 6-8 hours), and it's not too hot outside. First time gardeners (and all gardeners actually) should have their tetanus up to date (every 10 years -five years if you get a dirty cut).
They should also stay well hydrated, use sunscreen and hats, use gardening gloves, and start slow -a couple hours tops the first time and then see how muscles feel.
Gardening usually requires a lot of squatting and stretching so muscles can get quite sore. Of course because gardening is a form of exercise, if you are new to gardening and have any medical issues talk with your own doctor before you start gardening to make sure it is a safe activity for you.
--Dr. Kathryn Boling, Family Medicine, Lutherville Personal Physicians
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.
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