The Health Benefits of Gardening
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle Report.
As spring comes to half the world, many people can enjoy the new growth that comes with warmer weather. This is a great time to get outside and get dirty!
Gardening is popular in many parts of the world. This outdoor activity gives us beautiful plants, pleasant smelling flowers and fresh fruits and vegetables.
But it also gives us many health benefits.
Gardening connects people. When you are gardening, you are outdoors. So it is a perfect time to socialize with your neighbors.
Most people love to talk about their hobbies, and gardeners are no different. They usually enjoy showing people what they are growing. And most enjoy sharing advice and stories about their gardens almost as much as sharing herbs, flowers and vegetables from their gardens.
Gardening can greatly widen a person's community.
Some people may not have the resources to have their own garden. So, many cities and towns have community gardens. You can either volunteer or just visit to learn more.
Check what resources are available to you in your area. If there are no community gardens near you, there may be government money available to help you start one.
Healthy activity for children
Gardening is a great activity to do with children. It gets families outdoors and off computers, televisions and other electronics.
Gardening can be a great teacher.
Children can learn about nature and wildlife. Gardening can teach a child about where food comes from and healthy eating. It can also help them to understand the limits of natural resources and the importance of using them carefully.
When you are in your garden, you might feel the sunshine on your skin. This means you are getting Vitamin D.
Vitamin D helps our bodies use calcium. That is necessary to keep bones strong. Vitamin D also helps us fight diseases.
Also, when you garden you must move around. All the different movements needed for gardening -- bending, twisting, stretching and lifting -- work small muscles in the body.
And you can easily get a good work out when you are digging holes or pulling weeds.
Gardening may also help you to feel calm and happy.
A study by researchers in the Netherlands found that gardening may reduce the stress hormone cortisol in the brain.
Scientists say that high levels of cortisol in the body interfere with learning and memory. It can also increase a person's weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Chronic, high levels of cortisol increase the risk for depression, mental illness and lower life expectancy.
In the study, the researchers gave 30 gardeners a difficult, stressful task. After completing the task, researchers measured their cortisol levels. The gardeners self-reported on their mood, or how they felt emotionally.
Then the gardeners were asked to recover by either gardening outdoors or reading indoors for 30 minutes.
Both activities led to lower cortisol levels. However, the decreases were stronger in the gardening group. Also, those who gardened reported that their good moods returned fully. The readers found that their bad moods only got worse.
Dementia and brain health
Gardening may help your brain stay young.
In another study in 2006, researchers looked at more than 2,800 people over the age of 60. They studied their lifestyle habits, activities and health over a 16-year period. They found that gardening could lower risk of future dementia by 36 percent.
Activities such as gardening uses many repeated actions, such as weeding or dead-heading (removing dying flowers from a plant). These actions have a calming effect on the brain. The brain is still active but not in the same way that it is, say, when we use computers.
In our technology-filled lives, gardening offers a chance to unplug. You cannot hold a phone or other electronic devices when your hands are filled with dirt.
Gardening can also give you the feeling that you have done something good.
A flower and herb garden can help feed bees and butterflies. Growing herbs and flowers, even in a of couple of pots at your city home, connects you to nature and pleases all of your senses.
What you grow in a garden usually looks, smells, feels and tastes really good.
And that's the Health & Lifestyle report.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.led to 导致
This difference in approach has led to several political skirmishes.
2.blood pressure 血压
Exercise will not only lower blood pressure but possibly protect against heart attacks.
3.outdoor activity 户外活动
We all like outdoor activity, especially camping.
4.lifestyle habits 生活习惯
Such positive lifestyle habits have a positive impact on your job search, she says.
5.But it also gives us many health benefits.
health benefits 健康益处
The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
The advent of modern medicines has brought significant health benefits at lower cost.
6.Also, when you garden you must move around.
move around 四处移动
He moved around the country working in orange groves.
He stood up and began to move around the room.
园艺可促进人际交往。当你做园艺时会身处户外 。而这为邻里互相走动提供了完美的契机 。
大多人都喜欢聊聊自己的爱好，园艺爱好者也不例外。他们通常喜欢向他人展示所种植的植物 。除了分享种植的香料、蔬菜外，他们最喜欢分享自己在园艺方面的建议和园艺经历 。
有些人可能缺乏足够资源来构建自己的花园。所以，许多城镇都建有社区花园 。你可以自愿参与维护或者前往一饱眼福 。
孩子们能够学习到更多与大自然和野生动物有关的知识。通过园艺，孩子知道了食物的来源以及如何健康饮食 。它还可以帮助孩子了解自然资源的有限性，以及合理利用自然资源的重要性 。
维生素D会帮助人体吸收钙质。这是保持骨骼强健的必要条件 。维他命D还可以帮助我们对抗疾病 。
科学家称，体内高水平的皮质醇会干扰学习和记忆。皮质醇还可能增加人体的体重、血压和胆固醇水平 。长期且高水平的皮质醇会增加患抑郁症、精神疾病和寿命缩短的风险 。
在这项研究中，研究人员给30位园丁布置了一项难度大且有压力的任务。待其完成这项任务后，研究人员测量了他们的的皮质醇水平 。园丁也各自汇报了心情或感受 。
两项活动都导致了皮质醇水平下降，而园艺组下降幅度更大。同样，那些通过园艺活动恢复的人报告称，心情已然恢复如初 。而通过阅读进行恢复的人表示，心情变得更糟了 。
在2006年的一项研究中, 研究人员调查了2800多位60岁以上的人。他们在16年的时间里调查并研究了这些人的生活习惯、活动和健康状况 。他们发现，园艺可以使未来患痴呆的风险降低36% 。
园艺活动中有许多重复性动作，比如除草或移枯。这些动作对大脑有镇静作用 。大脑仍然活跃，但与我们使用电脑时的那种活跃截然不同 。