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franklin county times

Try gardening for greater health, good exercise

Cultura Garden Club held its February meeting at the Calvary Baptist Church Lenox Room. Debbie Nale and Sherry James served as co-hostess.   

The serving table was decorated with beautiful flowers, Valentine decorations, door prizes and delicious refreshments. Members wore red in recognition of Heart Health Awareness.

Martha Sibley presented the program, titled, “Why Gardening is Healthy and Promotes Exercise.” As she stated, “Gardening is definitely good exercise physically and mentally. It is my only way of exercising because I don’t jog, walk, swim or do aerobics.”

The American Heart Association considers planting and weeding as moderate exercise that can burn the same number of calories as you can in a gym. A survey showed that women 50 and older who work in their garden once a week had 50 percent better bone density than those who jogged, walked, swam or did aerobics.

Gardening gives us a breath of fresh air and Vitamin D, which are good for the brain, heart, kidneys and immune system and also help with diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cholesterol levels, depression and many other things, helping us to live longer.

Gardening, whether at home or in the community, brings many benefits. As a member of a garden club, you can experience a feeling of accomplishment; boost of self esteem; a feeling of togetherness; and a good social life. You can experience feeling safe, calm, relaxed and comfortable.

One survey showed that those who garden live 14 years longer than those who don’t.

So why wouldn’t you want to be a member of a garden club?

Martha shared memories of her mother as a role model who lived in her garden. “She worked faithfully in her garden and would not come in for lunch or supper unless called in. She lived to age 97 with still a great mind and basic good health.”

So yes – gardening is definitely excellent exercise for our bodies, and it’s great for our souls and our minds.

In the business session, club minutes and treasurer’s report were approved. Members were given a handout on the benefits of mulching and how to pick the right type of mulch material.

At the close of the meeting, a member’s granddaughter helped with a drawing for five door prizes, which were boxes of Valentine candy.

Gloves for spring gardening were given to each member by the program chairman.