Have you been looking for a new hobby? Maybe one that will help improve your mental health or outlook on life? Well, look no further than gardening. That's right; gardening has quite a few positive effects on your mental health. Our foundation's namesake, Lt. Chris Hunter, had quite the green thumb.
Lt. Hunter enjoyed everything from cutting the grass to planting flowers to even pulling the weeds so his entire property had plenty of curb appeal. There weren't many sunny days where Lt. Hunter wasn't seen outside working in the yard, unless of course he was with his loving wife and adoring children somewhere along the Jersey Shore.
Improve Brain Health
One of the biggest benefits of gardening is that it can help to improve your brain health. Two different studies have been conducted that have found that the hobby of gardening can help to reduce the development of dementia. The studies found that the development of dementia could be reduced by anywhere from 36 to 47 percent in those who like to garden. Obviously, the results of these studies are not definitive, but it's hard to ignore the fact that gardening has quite a positive impact on the body as a whole.
Are you looking for ways to improve the nutrition you receive in your food? The best way to make this happen is to start growing your own fruits and vegetables. These are the freshest, most nutritious foods people can eat. Other studies have found that people who garden eat more fruits and vegetables compared to those who do not garden. Schools that have gardening programs, either incorporated into coursework or as after-school activities, also help the students make better decisions when it comes to their food intake.
Improve Mental Health Issues
If you suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety or any other mental health issue gardening can play a major role in improving these. A study in Norway found that half of the people who took part in the study and had any of the illnesses mentioned above, saw their symptoms improve after gardening for six hours per week for three months.
An assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder has discovered that there is a very harmless bacteria found in soil that helps to release serotonin in the brain. The parts of the brain affected by the serotonin are those that control mood and cognitive function. This was discovered by injecting the bacteria into mice.
If you're looking for a new hobby that can help improve your mental health, look no further than Lt. Hunter's favorite hobby of gardening. Visit us online today to learn more about our foundation and how we are helping local communities and first responders.