Get active with the family by digging into dirt!

Spring has finally sprung, which for many Ontario residents means it’s time to get outside and dig those gardens into tip-top shape! However, the benefits of gardening go beyond creating a beautiful outdoor space. All that weeding, digging, raking and planting is great for the mind and body too!

Here are three ways gardening is good for you and your family:

  1. It Gets You Moving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gardening is an excellent way to get physical activity suggesting that “adults dig around in their garden for at least 2½ hours a week”, and “kids and teens for at least 1 hour a day”.1 But the great thing about gardening is that no experience is necessary. No matter their age or physical ability, gardeners can find a task to do, from carrying tools or soil, digging or hoeing through the space, or filling and pouring water. The CDC highlights the importance of this range of roles, suggesting participants “vary gardening activities to keep interest and to broaden the range of benefits”.2
  2. It’s Nutritious and Tastes Good. Not only is gardening a free pass to play in the dirt, it’s a great opportunity to teach and learn about organic food, composting and where food comes from. It can be fun to research what to grow in your garden, and what’s safe to grow in your neighbourhood. There are a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs you’re family can choose from; kids loving being able to select what plants and foods to grow. Consider creating personal garden spaces or small raised garden boxes for everyone to have their own space to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables of their choice. And once they’re ripe, the rewards are endless; from family fun to teamwork, to enjoying clean, fresh and tasty food.
  3. It Helps You Relax. You might find it difficult to unplug from your phone, or turn off that TV and really just chill, but stepping into the garden and tuning into the sounds and actions of Mother Nature might be just what your body and mind need to unwind. Relax and escape into the simple physical task. Set your mind at ease and feel the stress melting away with every sight, smell, and touch of your garden in full bloom.

Getting active in the garden is a great way to enjoy nature and is a healthy and rewarding activity that the whole family, no matter their age or ability, can participate in. When done regularly you’ll not only produce a beautiful outdoor living space, but a healthier you. Gardening can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get physically activity, beautify the community, and grow nutritious foods the whole family can enjoy.

So get gardening – and don’t forget the sunscreen!


1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, December 23). Gardening Health and Safety Tips. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/family/gardening/

2Ibid.