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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

Cultivating Wellness

Long Island’s Gina Marino, D.C., on the benefits of gardening, to relieve stress

Directory Page: Center for the Alignment Body, Mind and Spirit

When we spend time in an office (or just indoors) day in and day out, we can lose our connection to the outside world. That loss of connection can lead to higher stress and more health problems without our even realizing it. But when that the gap between office life and outdoor life is bridged, our quality of life improves, says Gina Marino, D.C., founder of the Center for the Alignment of Body, Mind and Spirit, in Wantagh.

“By adding in simple garden tasks or small DIY home improvement projects to your to-do list outside of work hours, you can start reclaiming that connection,” Marino says. “It can also ease your stress, keep you active and limber, and even improve your mood. Who couldn’t use a little mood booster?”

When we put down our smartphones and pick up a spade and gardening gloves, we don’t just give our minds a rest—we give our bodies a rest too, she says. 

“Think about how your body reacts and responds when you’re scrolling through updates on your phone or computer. How’s your posture? Are you tensed up? By setting the phone down and doing something more soothing—like most gardening tasks—you can effortlessly reduce the tension in your body and work on posture and body awareness.”

Boosting Strength and Flexibility

True, gardening may not seem like exercise. But digging, planting, weeding and similar activities do require physical exertion, Marino says, and simple gardening tasks can improve our flexibility and strength over time. 

“What’s best about most small DIY home improvement tasks, like gardening, is that you can change your exertion level depending on your body’s needs,” she says. “It’s a hobby you won’t have to completely give up as you age.”

With gardening, as with any type of physical task, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries. 

“The increase in physical exertion through gardening and small projects may not feel like a huge change all at once, but being aware of how to avoid injury through resistance training and proper alignment can help in the long run,” Marino says.

She notes that proper chiropractic care, such as regular spinal adjustments, developing muscle balance, and ensuring pelvic alignment, can help prepare the body for any level of physical exertion. That way the stress-relieving advantages of gardening and home improvement won’t be lost to injury. 

“By educating yourself on the preventative measures you can take through chiropractic care, you can enjoy all the health benefits of the outdoors,” she says.

The Center for the Alignment of Body, Mind and Spirit is located at 2050 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, NY. For appointments or more information, call 516-221-3500 or visit

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