Aside from enhancing your outdoor space and providing you with fresh fruit and veg, gardening can also be great for your physical and mental health.
We’ve taken a look at the health benefits of gardening and how a horticultural hobby can make you feel good, both inside and out.
Gardening can help to reduce your stress levels. According to Science Focus, gardening just two to three times a week maximised the benefits of better wellbeing and lower stress levels.
When gardening, our brains are distracted by nature around us which shifts our focus away from ourselves and our stresses, restoring our minds and reducing negative feelings.1
Improve physical fitness
Gardening can be a great way to incorporate exercise into your routine, for example:
- Strengthening your back muscles through the constant bending, twisting and lifting
- Improving your core muscles through raking and strimming the grass
- Helping with balance and flexibility
- Building endurance and stamina
Don’t forget to bend at the knees when lifting heavy items to help avoid straining your back!
According to The English Garden, tasks such as raking leaves and mowing the lawn can burn up to 450 and 350 calories an hour respectively. For those who are a little more adventurous, a heavy landscaping session can help you burn up to 600 calories.2
A healthy mindset
Mental health charity Mind reports that a quarter of people in the UK will experience mental health issues each year. For those suffering with feelings of depression and anxiety, being out in the garden can help to promote a more positive outlook.
Gardening can be fun, gives you a reason to get up and out of the house, and allows you to learn new skills. Horticulture therapy is also a proven treatment for those suffering with depression and anxiety. The combined benefits of physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and the satisfaction of the work can help to improve a person’s mindset.3
Encourages a healthier lifestyle
With the rise in food prices and the recent supply chain issues in the UK, there’s no better time to start growing your own fruit and veg. Growing your own produce is rewarding and promotes a healthier lifestyle with direct access to your own, lovingly tended to, fruit and veg. Get the whole family involved to encourage children to learn about where their food comes from. Your children will love sowing seeds, watering the plants and eating the food they have helped to grow.4
Healthy dose of vitamin D
Our bodies naturally create vitamin D from sunlight on our skin, so getting out in the garden is a great way to boost your intake, particularly between the months of April and September. A lack of vitamin D can cause bones to become soft and weak, so the more sunshine you can get, the better just remember to cover up or protect your skin if you’re out in the sun for long periods.5
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