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Got Stress? Go Garden!

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  • Written By: Michelle Civello, APRN, FNP-BC
Got Stress? Go Garden!

HELLO from Civello

Hello from Civello bitmoji

Greetings from my favorite place this time of year – my garden!

The benefits of gardening go far beyond pretty flowers and homegrown veggies.

Did you know that working in a garden is good for your health too? Numerous studies show that gardening can improve your physical and emotional well-being and has social benefits as well.

So, whether it’s a few plants on the windowsill or a backyard full of flower beds and vegetable plots, gardens of all sizes can reap big benefits for you and your family. No green thumb required!

Check out how gardening can make a positive impact on your health.

Mother Nature’s prescription for stress relief

Chronic stress and high cortisol levels can take a toll and affect almost every aspect of your health. It’s important to find healthy ways to cope. Working in a garden has been shown to reduce cortisol levels even more than reading a book. Just sitting in a garden can enhance your sense of well-being.

A boost for the immune system

A little dirt definitely doesn’t hurt! Did you know that being exposed to friendly soil microbes on a regular basis boosts your immune system, cuts your risk of inflammatory disease and reduces stress?

Great exercise

Think of everything that goes into maintaining a garden – weeding, raking, carrying heavy bags of soil, stretching, walking and lots of getting up and down – it’s a stress-busting, whole body workout! Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

A dose of vitamin D

Did you know that vitamin D is an essential nutrient that supports your immune system, lowers disease risk and improves your mood? Sunlight is one of the quickest ways to give your body an influx of vitamin D to reap the health benefits.

Things I’m planting right now:Flowers and herbs ready to be planted

Creole tomatoes
Green onion

And for my furry friends – catnip and cat grass.

Gardening is the perfect opportunity to get in touch with nature and take a break from the stressors of daily life. So, grab your gloves, throw on some old clothes and get to playing in the dirt. Your mind and body will thank you!

Hello from Civello is a monthly wellness blog written by Michelle Civello, APRN, FNP-BC. Michelle is a family nurse practitioner with Northshore Internal Medicine Associates in Hammond, where she treats patients, age 4 and older. In her practice, Michelle believes that open dialogue and individualized care are the best ways to motivate her patients and improve their health outcomes.