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A Gardener’s Prescription for Health and Wellness

The past three years I have spent many days in my garden. Tending to my garden is a routine occurrence, I spend, on average, 15 to 30 minutes each day.

Whether a day is spent watering, pruning, planting or simply observing, there are four experiences I have had that directly improve my physical health and wellness.

The first of these four experiences is Exposure to Sunlight.

Sunlight is a critical element to a healthy and thriving garden. Plants utilize photons from the sun’s rays to photosynthesize, their energy creation process that in turn, supplies us with oxygen to breathe. The gardener, when exposed to sunlight, benefits directly from a different chemical reaction – the creation of Vitamin-D.

Vitamin-D is a key component for health and wellness, and not getting enough of it can be quite dangerous. Vitamin-D deficiencies have been directly linked to brittle-bone disorder, chronic fatigue and substandard brain function.

However, for those of us who get ample sunlight through our daily activities, our chances of longevity may be increasing.

As described by Dan Buettner in his New York Times Bestseller, The Blue Zones: 9 lessons for living longer,  studies provide evidence that centenarians (people living to 100 or older) spent ample time outdoors and many of them were lifelong gardeners.

Spending time outside in sunlight is a critical component for living a healthy, and perhaps longer and more fulfilling life.

Gardeners are masters at cultivating life. By understanding the significance of exposure to sunlight, they improve their personal health while simultaneously improving the health of the life in their garden.

Gardening is a win, win; what are you going to grow first?

Find this article and others about gardening and sustainability on the Citizens of Earth website.

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