Gardening Resolutions for the New Year from our friends at National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture!
"With the arrival of 2023, it’s time to reflect on the past year and decide on goals for the new year. Research has shown that new beginnings and dates like New Year’s, your birthday and even Mondays are motivational when trying to tackle new goals. Consider your gardening goals this year.
This is a great time to reset. When coming up with New Year’s resolutions, many people focus on improving their overall health, eating healthier, traveling more, relaxing more or being more physically active. By increasing the amount of time you spend gardening this year, you can accomplish all of these goals.
To begin with, many of us think about losing weight, or at least eating healthier, this time of year. Most people tend to increase the amount of time they spend exercising in addition to increasing the amount of healthful foods they eat. One way to meet both of these goals is by gardening.
Fruits, nuts and vegetables are all excellent choices for a nutritious diet. All are full of immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and other plant compounds such as antioxidants and anthocyanins. And they contain fewer calories than foods that are filled with fats and oils. Although, nuts are full of healthy fats such as mono- and polyunsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Consider planting a vegetable garden or a fruit tree or shrub, or you can try your hand at a nut tree.
If engaging more in exercise and increasing your physical fitness is your goal, the garden is a great place to get in a good workout. Gardening activities are well suited to meet recommendations for daily physical activity. Gardening tasks such as digging, fertilizing, weeding, raking and tying plants to stakes use both upper and lower body strength, offering moderate-intensity physical activity comparable to brisk walking, swimming, dancing and biking.
Many gardening tasks are done while standing or squatting, such as pruning, mixing soil, planting seedlings, sowing, watering and harvesting. These are low-intensity physical activities, as are filling containers with soil and washing harvested produce.
If you are looking to reduce stress or improve your mental wellbeing, the garden is the perfect place. Many gardeners report having less stress and other therapeutic benefits from tending plants. Gardening can allow time for reflection and emotional processing. Mental benefits include a sense of purpose, relaxation and forgetting worries as you garden in addition to increasing your ability to respond and rebound after difficulties, such as stress or illness.
If you are looking to increase the amount of time spent traveling, why not plan some trips to arboretums, botanical and public gardens, and national parks? There also are many great educational conferences open to the public. Additionally, there are many field days and horticulture educational events offered.
Lastly, there is no shortage of gardening books, blogs or magazines. Research has shown that reading books in general can help improve brain function by strengthening connections in your brain, reducing stress and age-related cognitive decline, and helping improve memory and focus.
Gardening can be your one-stop shop for meeting your New Year’s resolutions this year. Get out there and get it growing!"
Browse more of the amazing resources from NICH: https://consumerhort.org/
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