It’s been a great weekend here of sun, fun, and PrimalCon of course. In returning to reality yesterday, I was checking the news and seeing some of you out there are bracing for yet another round of winter’s jest. My condolences – seriously. I’ll admit I was happy to forgo the six month long Maine winters for California years ago. Nonetheless, there are still aspects of Northern life I miss and admire. I remember, for example, the almost manic excitement with which people awaited spring. Their fervor for planning the year’s garden seemed wholly inverse to the short and still relatively cool growing season. I don’t know how many of you are gardeners, but I’m all for using the term loosely. Whatever gets us down in the dirt, digging in the midst of all those fine microbes, is work worth doing (without the toxic chemicals of course). An older neighbor of mine (with the greenest thumb I’ve ever seen) always tells me gardening is “good for the soul.” Although I don’t have an ounce of the talent she does, I’d have to agree. It only gets better though. Research demonstrates it’s also good for the mind and body – in ways we might not expect.
Little surprise, I’d say, that researchers in Taiwan found one of the biggest motivations participants cited for gardening was the “escape.” I would venture to guess this is a universal motivation. Life begins in the garden, so they say. The rest – worry, conflict, stress – simply dissolves in the landscape.
In another Netherlands based study, stressed participants were divided into two groups – one which read indoors and one which gardened in their allotment plots. Although both groups demonstrated a drop in cortisol (gardening participants showing a much steeper drop) during their respective activities, the gardening group fared much better in terms of mood, reporting a complete turn around by the end of the experiment.
Want more? In a Texas A&M survey, gardeners reported more physical activity, claimed more energy, and rated their overall health higher than non-gardeners. Those who described themselves as gardeners showed a higher level of life satisfaction than those who said they didn’t garden.
Gardeners, gardener wannabees, aimless but well-intentioned putterers of the backyard, what say you?Are you chomping at the bit or already elbow deep in the soil? What do you enjoy the most? How do you see your gardening/farming ventures in the context of your Primal life? Thanks for reading today.
About the Author
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.