Researchers suggest gardening as new hobby to help boost mental, physical health


Many Americans are taking up new hobbies to pass the time while stuck in their homes.

Gardening is a trend that is more than just a way to pass the time. Researchers say it can also help boost your mental and physical health. “With the obvious stresses and anxieties that we’re all facing, this is a wonderful mental outlet,” says Dr. Angela Catic from Baylor College of Medicine.

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She says gardening indoors or out can help reduce stress and cortisol levels. She says it can also have cardiovascular benefits, especially in older adults. “Just getting out, being in the yard working among flowers or vegetable gardening, is good for our strength and our flexibility,” Dr. Catic says.

Researchers also say people who grow their own fruit, vegetables, and herbs tend to have a healthier diet.

Aavi Haas’ newest hobby is slowly sprouting new life. When her lockdown began, Haas decided it was finally time to create the garden she’d long hoped to grow. Even with limited space, she was able to create both traditional and hydroponic planting stations. “It gives me something to look forward to. I get to wake up and hopefully see a little bit of progress,” Haas says.

Haas says seeing the changes in her apartment garden is a satisfying way to mark the days. “It’s a novelty obviously, what I’m doing in my apartment, but if I could have, you know, again, some lettuce and tomatoes by the end of this thing I’ll be super proud of myself,” she says.