Dirt and Sun – The Dr.’s Rx?

I, of course, can’t speak for the Doc, nor can I dispense medical advice.  What I can do is tell you what I have learned, what I have found, and what I believe. 

Dirt and Sun - The Dr.'s Rx?

Digging in the dirt is good for you.   

Studies have shown and continue to show that moderate-intensity physical activity is a healthy choice.  Routine levels of such activity help combat the effects of chronic diseases.  Gardening is considered in this category of activity when it occupies at least 2.5 hours per week.  (Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence; Darren E.R. Warburton, Crystal Whitney Nicol, and Shannon S.D. Bredin, 2006)

Dirt under your fingernails is good for your soul. 

Numerous studies have shown that gardening has a very positive effect on mental health.   Working outside, in the soil, in the sunshine can bring peace and tranquility, resulting in a more positive attitude.  (Gardening as a mental health intervention: a review; Jane Clatworthy (Trainee Clinical Psychologist based at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK; 2013)

Dirt and Sun - The Dr.'s Rx?

Get the sunshine in your soul (and on your skin)

Being out in the sunshine (in reasonable amounts) optimizes the production and use of Vitamin D. 

Sharpen your gardening skills and your mind at the same time. 

 According to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, gardening may cut your risk of Alzheimer’s nearly in half. Physical and mental activity, when combined, can have a positive influence on the mind.

Spend time in your garden beds to rest better in your regular bed. 

Fresh air, exercise, and sunshine can contribute to a better night’s sleep.

As your garden grows, so do you. 

Physical activity increases dexterity, balance, and flexibility.  Movement begets movement.  You will feel better, look better, and be able to do more. 

Dirt and Sun - The Dr.'s Rx?

Share your ecosphere. 

Getting your hands in the soil exposes you to a vast number of organisms in the soil.  For the most part, these are the same organisms that inhabit your gut.  Just like the roots of the plant, your guts need this rich, diverse bio-culture to function properly and to provide the right balance of nutrients and enzymes to your body.

Enjoy the results. 

As your soil grows richer, so will your vegetables.  They will be more nutritious, healthier and you will enjoy them more.  The satisfaction you receive from nurturing your garden to the place it is feeding you and your family is, in my opinion, the greatest thing that you can get from your garden.

Go now and take the prescription.   Get out in your garden and get dirty.

Links and Resources

For more information about organic gardening, lifestyles, and living, visit our website at West Texas Organic Gardening.

If you found the information here helpful, you might also find these articles on our website of interest.

Organic Growing Myths

Toss Your Tiller


If you have more specific questions or problems, you can contact us using the contact form on our website. You can also post your question to our community forum at this page; West Texas Organic Gardening Community Forum.

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