Local Flavor ... news, views, events, interesting places, people, etc. from East Alabama and West Georgia.
by Amanda Henderson
As the cashier tallies up my groceries, the usual small talk ensues. The cost of milk, this crazy virus, the weather. Then the conversation turns to gardening.
“Oh, gardening is my therapy!” the cashier tells me. “I don’t know what it is about it. It just makes me feel better.”
I smile, albeit behind my mask, and nod. “Me, too.”
She can’t wait to plant her spring garden, to harvest her first tomato, to see the flowers in bloom.
I can’t wait to dig in the dirt, to bask in the sunshine, to hold my first home-grown flower bouquet in my hand.
There has been a resurgence of the home garden in recent years. In light of the global pandemic that began over a year ago, many more people began a home garden for the first time. Food supply chain uncertainties and being placed under lockdown or “safer at home” mandates to flatten the curve were surely contributing factors, and I daresay, many found it had more benefits than just a homegrown tomato or freshly canned pickles.
I’ve heard it said, “Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years,” and now science is backing up what many have known through years of spending time in the garden.
In addition to the obvious increase in Vitamin D levels from being in the sunshine, here are some ways gardening can contribute to your overall health.
1. Peace of mind. Food security in uncertain times can be a great motivator to start a home garden. Also, knowing exactly where your food comes from and being able to control what means you use to treat pests are wonderful benefits to growing your own food.
2. Improved muscular and cardiovascular function. Gardening can be quite a workout and burns calories while increasing strength. According to the CDC, gardening is considered a moderate intensity level activity. Gardening only 2.5 hours a week can decrease risk for obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer and premature death.
3. Improved mood and mental clarity. Many studies have shown that gardening can help people feel less depressed, improve mood, and contribute to clearer thinking. In some instances, gardening therapy is used in cases of those with dementia with positive outcomes after a period of time.
4. Reduces Stress. Studies show that forty-five minutes of gardening can greatly reduce cortisol levels and help you relax. An experiment published in the Journal of Health Psychology compared gardening to reading as a stress-relieving activity; test subjects that gardened experienced a more significant decrease in stress when compared to the subjects that were assigned to read.
5. Boosts Immune System. Did you know that there are beneficial microbes that live in soil that can give your immune system a boost? Who would have thought that digging in the dirt would actually be good for you?
You don’t have to have acreage to start a garden to reap the health benefits. It can be a windowsill garden, pots on your patio, a single raised bed, or an acre plot. No matter the size of your garden, or whether you grow food or flowers, the same principles still apply. This spring, try gardening and improve your overall health and well-being
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The Eddie Pruett's Legacy
REMEMBERING LOVED ONES LOST TO COVID-19
Since the COVID-19 Pandemic began there have been numerous family and friends lost to the virus. Lake Wedowee Life has gotten several requests to do in memory stories of the brave men and women that are no longer with us. We quickly realized there were just too many that have died in this community and we would never want to leave any one out.
So we, as a company, decided to dedicate space on our website to remember the ones that we have lost . If you are interested in contributing a story of a loved one, please contact Kelly Caldwell directly at firstname.lastname@example.org We all want to remember and honor the legacy of those that have left us.