This Much-Loved Activity Could Lead to a Healthier, Happier, Life?

There's an activity you may not have tried that you may decide to try after you read about some of the benefits research has found it has.
And if you’re interested in getting some really healthy food at a much lower cost, you might consider using your new-found activity/hobby to plant some edible plants — herbs, vegetables, whatever.
Research shows that not only does growing your own food get you fresher foods and less contaminated foods, but you also reduce your cost of those food items, and gardening of any kind increases your sense of well-being and reduces your risk of depression.  
Gardening is actually the most common hobby of centenarians all over the world. That suggests gardening’s benefits may include living longer.  
Other research shows that farmers are one-third less likely to have a chronic illness than non-farmers, and are less likely to die from heart disease or diabetes.  Studies also have reported that elderly people who garden regularly have a 36% lower risk of dementia than people who don’t garden.
Dan Buettner, a longevity researcher, has studied the habits and hobbies of centenarians all over the world, and he has found that those people who do live to 100 or older have numerous things in common.  Those common interests and activities include having strong social support groups, daily exercise, a plant-based diet, and gardening.
When you think about gardening, and what it entails, it becomes clear that it definitely would have health benefits, some of which result simply from what’s required to garden.  Check out this list of benefits and you’ll see what I mean: Some of Gardening’s Health Benefits:

Sun exposure 

Fresh Air

Fresh and uncontaminated food and/or Beautiful or interesting plants and flowers to enjoy depending on which you plant, or maybe you’ll do both!

Exposure to beneficial microbes in the soil which may support a healthy microbiome

Being physically active regularly 

Social contacts 

Stress relief and

a sense of well-being  
BBC News reported on a Dutch study that included asking participants to do a stressful task, and then the researchers split them into two groups.  One group read indoors and other group worked in a garden outdoors for 30 minutes.     
The group of readers said their mood deteriorated more whereas the gardeners actually had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after their gardening, they also said they felt “fully restored” to a good mood.  This doesn't mean gardening, or anything else, is a panacea for everything involved in growing old, but it does suggest that gardening may improve one’s quality of life as they age.                                                           
Actually, many gardeners say they have a sense of well-being and joy, and research from Johns Hopkins has found that a cheerful temperament can significantly reduce one’s odds of a heart attack or sudden cardiac death.
Life Purpose — Dr. Bradley Wilcox of the University of Hawaii, has studied centenarians in Okinawa which is an area known for having the highest ratio of centenarians in the entire world. Wilcox says that “In Okinawa they say anybody who grows old healthfully needs an ikigai, or a reason for living. Gardening gives you that something to get up for every day.”

Life Satisfaction — A survey done by Gardeners World Magazine found that 80% of gardeners report being happy and satisfied with their lives, compared to 67% of non-gardeners, and the more time they spend in the garden, the higher their satisfaction scores are: 87% of those who tend to their gardens for more than 6 hours a week say they’re happy compared to those who spend less time gardening.    Given the ever-increasing numbers of people who live in apartments, there have been ways developed to garden in small spaces.  There are books written on the subject, and many garden supply stores can give you ideas as well.  And there is
certainly a lot of information and ideas available online… just start searching for ideas for small gardens for growing vegetables and other foods.  
If you are an apartment dweller, or live in any size abode that you rent or lease rather than own, you definitely need to find out if they have any rules or regulations you need to follow for your garden.   
Also, whether you own your home or rent or lease it, you should also check to see if there are any rules, laws, or regulations in place by the city, or homeowners’ association, or any other group that may have regulations regarding the use of your particular residence and its outdoor uses (or indoor uses in the case of leased or rented properties).
We’d be totally remiss if we didn’t tell you that many gardeners enjoy their gardens even more when they use PlantCatalyst made with Willard’s Water.  And why wouldn’t they enjoy it even more… given the larger than imagined and tastier produce they grow with it, and the fuller, larger plants and flowers they grow.  And the fact that it helps plants to deal with stress better — too little water or too much, etc.   
It makes success easier and brings even greater joy when they see the outstanding plants and flowers they’ve raised themselves… with a little help from WW’s PlantCatayst.  You can find info on them on our website, from this link: category/2-willards-water-info   
Once at the list of information items, scroll down the list to PlantCatalyst items.  
Even people who have never gardened before often find they enjoy it from the very beginning. Again, garden supply stores, other gardeners, libraries, online info — all those places can be great resources to get you started or add to your existing knowledge.   
So go enjoy your garden! And do yourself and your garden a favor by giving it PlantCatalyst! You may be able to share some astonishingly large and tasty produce, or some incredibly beautiful flowers with its help!    

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