How Gardens Reduce the Rate of Adult Obesity

watering flowers in garden centre

Georgia has one of the highest obesity rates in the United States. According to the 2017 State of Obesity Report, it ranked 24th. More than 31% of their adults were already obese, almost ten percentage points higher back in 2000.

Children and teens didn’t fare well either. The state even ranked eighth in obesity rate for youths between the ages of 10 and 17. Although a complex condition, obesity is severe. It increases the risk factors for hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. It also boosts the odds of certain cancers, including colon cancer.

The chances of developing chronic diseases early are high among children who were either overweight or obese. Fortunately, there are already many ways to manage obesity. One of these might even involve specialists in commercial landscaping in Macon.

How Gardens Bring Down the Weight

From botanical to vegetable gardens, these patches and beds of flowers and plants can do so much more than beautify the environment or feed the bees. They can impact people’s health, such as decreasing their weight and obesity.

1. Vitamin D

Studies showed a direct relationship between vitamin D deficiency and obesity. People who are obese are less likely to have higher levels of the vitamin. In the process, it decreases the intake of calcium, which helps strengthen the bones.

Scientists believe that vitamin D does not promote significant weight loss, but those who are obese need more of it to deal with the potential deficiency. Two options are supplements and sunlight. What gardens do is to encourage individuals to go out, so they can help their body synthesize the vitamin.

2. Exercise

butterfly on a woman's hand doing yoga outdoors

Some exercises can be more effective than the others in burning calories, but all exercises can promote weight loss as long as the person is consistent.

Walking in the gardens, for example, can already burn at least two calories for every pound of a person’s weight, depending on the speed. Full-on gardening can expend as much as 400 calories in 60 minutes.

Gardens can also be venues for low-impact exercises such as tai chi and yoga. While they burn fewer calories, they encourage flexibility. They can also help build muscles, which tend to use more calories than fat.

3. Stress Management

Stress is one of the leading risk factors for obesity. It changes a person’s behavior, such as altering the regular sleeping and eating habits. A person who’s trying to beat a deadline can end up munching on junk food in the middle of the night.

The body also secretes more stress hormones such as cortisol. This can affect the way the body stores fat. It can accumulate within the abdominal area, leading to visceral obesity.

Gardens can decrease the feelings of stress in many ways:

  • Nature prevents self-rumination by redirecting a person’s focus outwardly.
  • It can increase the uptake of oxygen, which the cells need to function correctly.
  • Plants can be good teachers. It encourages the person to be patient yet persistent.
  • Some people react positively when they feel responsible for others’ survival.
  • Some scientists believe humans are biophilic, which means they have an intimate connection with nature and seeks it.

Obesity places a significant dent on the economy, contributing to higher healthcare costs. Multiple efforts, including building and maintaining gardens, can save everyone money while promoting good health. Even better, they can beautify cities, encouraging higher tourism.