Mowing the lawn on a weekend afternoon is a time-honoured Australian tradition.
As men, we are often responsible for this task and a host of others involved in taking care of the garden at home.
And whether you do these tasks begrudgingly, passionately, or perhaps just with a small sense of pride… you are actually on the receiving end of some pretty great benefits!
Firstly, physical activity! Yay!
Lifting, pushing, pulling, sweating, grunting, cursing … yep, getting stuck in to your garden is definitely a physical job! And unless you are a landscaper or gardener by trade, you are probably moving in many different ways that you don’t get in your day to day work life. This can be an excellent way to retain and improve your body’s movement vocabulary, as well as burn off a few of those weekend calories as well!
Secondly, whether you consider yourself a greenie or not, you are definitely helping the environment by tending to well-vegetated land.
We all know that trees recycle carbon dioxide and provide us with the oxygen we need to live, cleansing the air in the process. But growing and caring for plants on your patch of land has other environmental benefits! Ground coverage helps filter rain and reduce the amount of sediment and pollutants carried into our storm water system (and thus into the lakes, streams and eventually the great blue beyond).
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, pottering around the garden is a fantastic opportunity to calm your mind!
A practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.
Yep, you read that right. Meditation techniques can include focussing on a particular object, thought or activity, like, for example, gardening!!
Once you are into swing of it, whether you are mowing, mulching, weeding, trimming, planting or seeding, there isn’t much else that the mind focuses on except the task at hand. This allows other parts of your mind to slow down and find some calmness & clarity.
Studies have even shown that spending time in the garden, and most natural elements to be honest, eases symptoms of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
So gardening can actually be a fantastic escape from the many other things going on in your daily life that demand your attention. Allowing, for a moment, your mind to take a break, whilst your body enjoys the benefits of some physical activity.
And doing it on the weekend? Well that sets you up to face the coming week with a rejuvenated headspace and clear mind.
Don’t have a yard or outdoor garden?
Benefits can also be found maintaining indoor plants, which studies have shown to boost moods, increase productivity, decrease air pollution (inside your home!) and even improve your ability to concentrate. And at the very least they make any space feel a lot more natural and homely (no surprises there!).
All of these benefits aside, there is something incredibly satisfying about watching something that you have created grow and flourish… and, well, compared to kids… let’s put it this way… Plants stay in one place, can’t talk back to you, have an easy diet and if they start to look or act funny … you can simply pull them out and replace them!!
Regardless of which benefit you find your biggest motivator to get out there, we thoroughly suggest tending to your garden, for your own benefits as much as the family’s enjoyment!
So get out in the garden, Gents!