Are You Gardening For Your Health?

We just got the first tomatoes from our patio garden tonight (it’s been a cool summer in Chicago this year), and the fabulous taste of “real” ones reminded me just how well gardening and diabetes go together. I’ll admit I’m not a gardening expert, but I’m betting that no matter where you live it’s not too late to get out and grow something. And, if you’re wondering exactly why, consider these few reasons:

Gardening is great exercise

Beneficial activity doesn’t require strapping on your gym shoes (or roller blades) – just moving is good. With gardening that movement may be bending or squatting or digging or just walking around admiring your green thumb successes. When it comes to exercise, every little bit adds up.

Gardening can put some very healthy and very inexpensive food on your table

And, there is no comparison when it comes to taste between vegetables you get at the grocery, and vegetables you harvest at the perfect time. Even if you have very little space, you can grow tomatoes or peppers, and if you have a little room zucchini is infamously productive.

Gardening can sooth your spirit

It’s partly the exercise, partly the distraction, and probably a sense of accomplishment that relieves stress. And, don’t underestimate sheer beauty. I have my desk strategically positioned to watch our small flower garden turn from springtime blues and reds to summertime yellows and purple. And, every day a little green hummingbird drops by to see what might suit her tastes.

If you’re not gardening, maybe it’s time to start. You know, not everything that’s good for diabetes management has to be a burden – gardening is a productive hobby that pays off even when you’re relaxing and enjoying the view.

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