Garden Your Way to Lower Blood Pressure

Gardening isn’t just a fun way to beautify your yard and produce delicious fruits and vegetables. Working in the garden can also bring you unexpected health benefits. Gardening can lower your blood pressure and leave you with a healthier heart.

How Does Gardening Reduce Blood Pressure?

We live in a stressful world which can take its toll on your heart. It can be difficult to find the time to relax and escape from the pressures of the world. In the garden this becomes much easier. As you step away from everyday life and turn to nature you will find peace and relaxation. Working in the garden is also a great form of exercise without ever having to go to the gym. Plus, since you will be producing a bounty of delicious fruits and vegetables in your garden, so you will have healthier food choices available. The combination of reducing stress, exercising more and eating healthier can lead to blood pressure reduction.

Gardening to Lower Blood Pressure

CC flickr photo courtesy of USFS Region 5

Reducing Stress in the Garden

Your garden can be a great place to reduce stress. One reason may be that many people find gardening enjoyable. Doing the things that you love will reduce stress.

Another reason that the garden is stress-relieving is that it requires physical exertion. Participating in strenuous activities like gardening can relieve aggression and frustration. You will also find that simply spending time in the beauty of nature can make things feel better. If you aren’t able to exert a lot of physical force, consider walking through the garden or relaxing outside around your plants.

Here are some tips that will help you to relieve stress while working in the garden.

  • Focus on achievable tasks – As you decide what to do each day in the garden, focus on simple and achievable tasks. Set goals that can be easily met with your available time and abilities. Setting lofty goals that cannot be achieved easily can lead to frustration and increased stress.
  • Enjoy your work – Don’t just complete your garden chores and call it quits for the day. Instead take time to enjoy the beauty that you are creating.
  • Listen to music – Relaxing music can be a great way to make gardening even more enjoyable.

Exercising in the Garden

Many of the stress-relieving benefits of gardening are due to the fact that gardening is a form of exercise. Exercise helps the body to relax and feel better. Exercise also releases endorphins which make the body feel good. These endorphins can help you to have a more positive outlook on life and to feel better even when you aren’t in the garden. Of course you always want to consult with your doctor before staring any exercise program. To get the best exercise results from your garden try a few of these tips.

  • Consider it exercise – As you work in the garden use the same level of effort and enthusiasm that you would use at the gym. Don’t be afraid to use a little extra effort. If you view gardening as exercise you will get more cardiovascular benefit.
  • Set a schedule and be consistent – Make time each day for gardening. Determine how long you will work before you can take a rest. You don’t have to work in the garden for long periods of time to achieve benefits.
  • Warm up, work out and cool down – Structure your gardening in the same way you would a gym work out. Start with a little stretching. Then you can warm up by pulling some weeds or planting seeds. Move into the more strenuous activities for the day, like digging, and then finish up with a cool down walk around the garden. This will help to reduce injury and make gardening more enjoyable and productive.

Garden Anytime, Anywhere

You can enjoy the relaxing benefits of gardening all year round. If you live in a colder climate where winter gardening isn’t possible outdoors you can still enjoy the benefits by working in a greenhouse or having an indoor container garden. If you don’t have a lot of space or if you live in an apartment, create a container garden or find a community garden. Patios and balconies are a great place for a small outdoor container garden if you don’t have the space for a traditional garden. Find solutions that will work with your lifestyle so that you can enjoy the benefits of gardening all year long no matter your situation.

Healthy Harvest

One final way that gardening will help you to lower your blood pressure is that it will produce healthy fruits and vegetables that you can enjoy. Gardeners are more likely to eat things that they have grown themselves. This will mean more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Since they are homegrown, they will be especially delicious and packed with nutrients. Consider planting a few heart-healthy choices like leafy greens, tomatoes or cantaloupe. Learn about the fruits and vegetables that will help you to obtain a healthy blood pressure and then incorporate these into your garden.

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