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Gardening as Therapy

Surrounding yourself with gardens or plants can create a sanctuary for us to relax. One 2010 study revealed that 30 minutes of gardening decreased more stress than 30 minutes of indoor reading. A bacteria found in soil, mycobacterium vaccae, has even been found to trigger the release of serotonin, which naturally improves mood and decreases anxiety. The act of gardening requires a multistep thinking process. As a result, as Amy Wagenfeld Ph.D. notes:“ studies have shown that the activity can help to improve cognitive function, including the ability to concentrate.” The benefits of gardening projects can delay the symptoms of dementia. George Papanicolaou, D.O., references one study, which followed nearly 3,000 older adults for 16 years, tracking incidents of all kinds of dementia and assessing a variety of lifestyle factors. He notes that the researchers found daily gardening to represent the single biggest risk reduction for dementia, reducing incidence by 36%.

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EDGE June | July 2021

Gardening stimulates all of your senses. The garden is filled with all sorts of sights, sounds, textures, scents, and tastes. It may even stimulate long-lost memories. These stimulated senses can easily reduce unwanted stress associated with everyday life, allowing you a much deserved break from these crazy times. Gardening can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol or prevent diabetes, heart disease, depression, and osteoporosis when practiced on a regular basis. Tending a garden allows your creative side to shine through leaving you with a sense of accomplishment and pride! Let’s improve our physical and emotional health as well as lose weight with aerobic gardening as exercise! Dr. Kelly Gilthorpe Burkenstock is an Internal Medicine physician and has a fellowship in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. She is a longstanding member of The International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Profile for EDGE of the Lake

Edge of the Lake Magazine June | July 2021  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique people that make up our community. Expect the unex...

Edge of the Lake Magazine June | July 2021  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique people that make up our community. Expect the unex...

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