Munavvar Izhar says that Gardening is one of the healthiest hobbies one can develop. It combines physical activity with social interaction and exposure to nature and sunlight. Also, these days people prefer to eat organic, and gardening gives you complete control over the chemicals and products used during the growing process. It not only provides you with beautiful plants, vegetables, flowers, and fruits, but also has tremendous health benefits for the body and mind.
Dr. Munavvar Izhar says that the most common question people ask him is – How does gardening reduce stress?
Gardening can make you feel more peaceful and content. Focusing your attention on the immediate tasks and details of gardening can reduce negative thoughts and feelings and can make you feel better. It also boosts self-esteem and confidence in a person.
Izhar, Munavvar says that the sights, smells, and sounds of the garden are said to promote relaxation and reduce stress by enhancing the production of Serotonin hormone in the brain. Increased Serotonin in the brain enhances mood, produces happiness, and empowers a better psyche.
Dr. Munavvar Izhar enumerates the Medical and Health benefits for the readers below:
- Helps fight disease.
- Builds strength.
- Improves memory.
- Boosts mood and Reduces stress.
- Helps addiction recovery.
- Fosters human connections.
- Heals and empowers.
- Helps combat loneliness.
- Exposure to vitamin D
- Decreased dementia risk
- Enjoyable aerobic exercise
Izhar, Munavvar further explains that your skin uses sunlight to make one of the nutrients you need: vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for literally hundreds of body functions — strengthening your bones and your immune system are just two of them.
Munavvar Izhar cites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source that gardening is a good exercise. Activities like raking and cutting grass might fall under the category of light to moderate exercise, while shoveling, digging, and chopping wood might be considered vigorous exercise. Either way, working in a garden uses every major muscle group in the body. This fact won’t surprise anyone who’s woken up sore after a day of yard work.
Munavvar Izhar MD states that there are research studies done at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania that state that the risk of heart attacks and stroke are significantly reduced in people who regularly garden five to six hours a week. Also, in this same group of people, the researchers found that the people who do gardening sleep much better and are less prone to anxiety and stress. Dr. Izhar also emphasizes that exercise improves cognitive functioning
Dr. Munavvar Izhar is an avid gardener and uses a dedicated area for storing his gardening supplies and keeping them organized. He also has some useful tips for readers:
- Wear gloves, kneecaps, goggles, long pants, closed-toe shoes, and other safety gear, especially if you’re using sharp tools.
- Use bug spray and sunscreen and use a hat if sunny.
- Drink lots of water and take frequent shade breaks to prevent overheating.
- Listen to your body. It’s easy to injure yourself when you’re toting bags of mulch and hoisting shovels full of dirt.
- Make sure you have a tetanus vaccination once every 10 years, as tetanus lives in the soil.
Another question commonly asked of Dr. Izhar is – Where is the physical activity in gardening?? And the answer he gives is:
- Digging – Uses arm muscles!!
- Weeding – One must bend, get on the knees, or squat often!!
- Gathering seeds and dried flowers – involves all the above!!
- Deadheading flowers
- Preparing the soil with organic fertilizer – involves raking of soil and uses arms biceps, triceps, and shoulder muscles!!
- Replanting and re-potting. – again, arm muscles!!
- Watering the garden
- Picking flowers
- Planting vegetables, fruits, and flowers in the correct season – Knees, upper thighs!!
- Picking vegetables and fruits when they are ready to eat
- Preparing healthy food, such as making salads and preparing school lunches
- Composting, recycling
- Mulching – workout of upper body
Dr. Izhar a nephrologist, a physician is an established name in medical education worldwide. He likens gardening to an educational tool for people, it also helps develops new skills in people. Below are the tremendous benefits and life skills coming out of gardening:
- Responsibility – from caring for plants
- Understanding – as they learn about cause and effect (for example, plants die without water, weeds compete with plants)
- Self-confidence – from achieving their goals and enjoying the food they have grown
- Love of nature – a chance to learn about the outdoor environment in a safe and pleasant place
- Reasoning and discovery – learning about the science of plants, animals, weather, the environment, nutrition
- Physical activity – doing something fun and productive
- Creativity – finding new and exciting ways to grow food
Munavvar Izhar wishes all the readers a green thumb.