Unlocking the Secret of Longevity: The Surprising Hobby of the World’s Oldest People

By: Tyler Connaghan | Last updated: Nov 12, 2023

If you’re tired of trying to get fit, taking vitamins, or drinking green smoothies, I have good news: The real secret to a long and healthy life is much simpler. And no, it’s not some trendy new exercise routine or a strict diet plan. It’s gardening.

Yes, you read that right. It turns out that the key to living a long and fulfilling life may just be getting your hands in the soil. So, put down that kale smoothie and pick up a shovel—let’s explore how gardening can be the fountain of youth you’ve been searching for.

It Gets You In Touch With Nature

Did you know that doctors in Scotland prescribe nature walks for patients with high blood pressure and anxiety? A 1984 study even found that patients recovered faster from surgery if their rooms looked out onto nature rather than a brick wall.


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Gardening is even better for your health, as it forces you to interact consistently with nature. Being around nature is restorative, and our bodies respond positively to environments that are favorable to us.


Gardening Is An Excellent Workout

While it may seem like a leisurely pastime, gardening is actually a great form of exercise. Digging, planting, and weeding can burn as many calories as a brisk walk, and it engages a variety of muscles, including your arms, shoulders, back, and core.


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Plus, gardening often involves squatting, bending, and stretching, which can improve flexibility and balance. And unlike a gym workout, it allows you to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while you work up a sweat.

Gardening Is Nutritious

Not only does gardening provide fresh air and exercise, but it also offers the opportunity to grow your own fruits and vegetables, which can have numerous health benefits. Store-bought produce is often treated with pesticides and loses some nutrients during transportation, whereas homegrown produce is typically free of chemicals and retains its nutritional value.


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Plus, growing your own food allows you to choose which varieties to plant, giving you access to a broader range of delicious and healthy options. So, not only will your garden help you stay active, but it will also provide a tasty and nutritious reward for your efforts!

Gardening Is a Mental Workout

You might be surprised to find out that gardening is a great way to exercise your mind. Planning and designing your garden layout, researching the best plants for your region, and problem-solving issues that arise, such as pest control or nutrient deficiencies, all require critical thinking and decision-making skills.


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Studies have shown that keeping your mind active contributes to a longer lifespan. Mental stimulation prevents cognitive decline, which is why experts often recommend activities like reading and puzzles for older adults. 

Gardening Can Relieve Stress

Lastly, gardening can be therapeutic, reducing your stress levels. In fact, studies have shown that working in a garden can lower the stress hormone cortisol, and increase the happiness hormone, serotonin.

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Planting and nurturing your plants can also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Plus, your garden can be a peaceful and meditative environment, allowing you to escape the chaos of daily life.