Keystone Oaks School District News Article

Plant yourself a garden and watch the benefits sprout!

Around springtime, everyone rushes to their local garden store to begin planting a spring garden that will bloom throughout the next few seasons. They spend time deciding between perennials or annuals, mulch or soil, and fertilizer or organic growing. Regardless, everyone is choosing to indulge in the advantages gardening offers your body, mind, and even the environment. Plus, at the end of it, you’re either left with some yummy vegetables or a beautiful view from your window.
“Even if you believe you lack a ‘green thumb’, there is some plant out there that you can care for and grow,” said junior Kat Hoffman.
There are very few downsides to this art form. Gardening has been shown to provide so many wonderful health benefits for all over the body. It provides you with the recommended 2-3 hours of moderate cardio activity per week needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“It doesn’t seem like you’re even ‘working out’, but the small time I do spend outside pays off,” said junior Zach McKay, an avid gardener.
Reaching these goals help reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes and by keeping active, prolong your healthy lifestyle. The reward of a bountiful garden increases motivation to get some easy exercise in your daily routine. As well as heart health, garden often times benefits your skin and body. By exposing your arms, legs, and face to the sun, you get minor amounts of vitamin D. This small amount of sunshine allows your skin to get the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Gardening is extremely helpful for people looking to strengthen or maintain their motor skills and dexterity your hands and fingers need to stay mobile. According to researchers, “Gardening keeps those hand muscles vigorous and agile without oft-forgotten exercises such as a physiotherapist might prescribe.” Oftentimes, gardening is used as a form of therapy to relieve stress and increase skill after injuries to the hands occur.
Benefits of gardening don't stop at the individual level, but continue to expand around the environment around you. By planting greens, they increase the number of photosynthetic plants on the earth that help eliminate airborne pollutants. Plants take in the carbon dioxide mammals exhale and formulate it into clean oxygen which we can then breathe. They “act as highly effective air cleaners, absorbing carbon dioxide, plus many air pollutants, while releasing clean oxygen and fragrance” according to local greenhouses. Planting your own fruits and vegetables allow you to cut back on the demand we, as consumers, ask of our local farmers. A garden is an awesome way to grow your own food that can be organic and pesticide free, without the heavy costs they would be at the grocery store.
Whether you choose to begin a garden this year, or continue the tradition of gardening, one thing is certain: gardening has benefits more bountiful than your garden! Decide to take whatever size land you have, big or small, and whatever supplies handy, plentiful or scarce, and plant some flowers! Some trees! Herbs! The opportunities are honestly as endless as the gardens of the world. (You can even get fancy and create your own hybrid flower…) Either way, come fall, you should take away nothing but a positive experience and reward from your garden. Happy spring!

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