A completely free activity that you can do from the comfort of your own home, reduces stress, improves health, can save and even make you money and most of all is great fun sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Well it isn’t. That activity does exist and its called gardening. Gardening gets you exercising, puts you in touch with nature and can bring your family together. Even one hour a week is proven to have huge health benefits to the average American.

Still not sold on why you should get out in your backyard? Here are 4 reasons to take up gardening this summer.

Gardening can reduce stress

There is scientific proof that gardening can help reduce our stress levels, something that shouldn’t be sniffed out given the pressures of modern day life. A study carried out in the Netherlands found that gardening can put people in a positive mood and keep them in that frame of mind long after they’d finished tending to the rose bushes. Dr. Christopher Lowry, Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder has also found that contact with micro-organisms which are found in dirt can help to lift our spirits.

Gardening can improve your health

There are so many health benefits to gardening that it is difficult to know where to start. Firstly, you’ve got the exercise aspect. An average sized American can expect to burn somewhere between 300-400 calories from one hour of gardening while the heavy lifting and digging involved in planting can also improve our strength, muscles and bone density.

Then there is the nutritional aspect. If you are using your backyard to grow vegetables – mygardeningnetwork.com has some great ideas on fruit and veg you can grow – then you are creating a healthy, organic option with which to feed your family. You’ll know that the produce is straight out of the ground and hasn’t come into contact with any pesticides, it hasn’t been frozen before traveling hundreds of miles to make it onto your dinner table and best of all, it will taste much better than anything you can buy from a supermarket.

Gardening will save and could make you money

Growing your own fruit and veg in the backyard won’t just give you healthier food – it will give you cheaper food as well. The price of fresh fruit and veg continues to rocket, but why pay it when you can grow it? It also offers an opportunity to possibly make money as well. If you grow too much for your own family’s plates, you could sell the juicy fruit and veg you don’t need to friends and neighbors.

Gardening is fun

Perhaps the best reason of all to get out and do some gardening though is that it is fun. There’s no set guidelines for what you can and can’t do – you can treat your garden however you want. Just take the whole family into the backyard and start digging. Before long, you’ll all be loving it.