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As the icy winter season melts into spring, many of us emerge from the hibernation of our homes and look forward to basking in the warmth and sunshine of our yards and gardens. Along with the pleasure of fresh air, sunsine and "playing in the dirt", gardening can reduce stress! Working and weeding in the garden offers gardeners a place to relax and enjoy the serene beauty of the outdoors. The sights and smells of the garden environment are calming and ease your stress by completely engrossing you in the natural world. A garden's positive effects can help lower blood pressure and inspire meditation and reflection.
Studies show that gardening may also help be the first step towards battling Alzheimer's Disease since gardening stimulates the mind. The Journal of the American Medical Association notes that people who are mentally active are 47% less likely to develop Alzheimers. Professor Paul Nussbaum of University of Pittsburgh Medical School asserts that gardening is one of the top three "excellent mental workouts". Not only can gardening help prevent Alzheimers, but it is also stimulating to those who have already developed the disease.
Gardening also provides a variety of exercise for the body. Muscles are developed through digging, lifting and raking. Walking, weeding and mowing can accomplish aerobic activity. Best of all, the focus on gardening tasks makes exercise easy and fun!
So grab your garden tools and head outside! Your mind and body will thank you!
Westmoreland County Area Agency on Aging Information Line Article200 S Main StGreensburg, PA 15601Contact: Joan WagnerPh: (724) 830-4444Toll Free: 1-800-442-8000