How can Gardening Improve your Health? – If you are blessed with a green thumb, then gardening can be a relaxing and joyful hobby. Some people have to work a bit harder to get their green spaces looking wonderful.
If you have been thinking about taking up gardening as a hobby or sorting out your back garden, you may find that the activity has more personal benefits than you realise.
Everyone knows that exercise is good for you – the NHS considers it essential to living a long and healthy life. But finding a form of exercise you enjoy and will maintain can be hard. Gardening isn’t an option that often springs to mind but it can be great exercise.
Movements such as raking and digging are stretching and using muscles which will get stronger and more flexible over time. Gardening can also raise your heart rate which helps to keep your organs healthy and blood flowing to your entire body.
Regular exercise such as gardening can help to keep the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s and even Type 2 diabetes at bay.
One of the great things about gardening is growing your own fruits and vegetables to eat. Organic products usually cost more at a supermarket but with some tender love and attention, you can have organic produce from your garden. Not only will it taste better and be chemical-free, but there is an added satisfaction of seeing the result of your hard work.
It can be easy to spend the majority of your day inside, either at home or at work. Gardening ensures you get a healthy dose of fresh air.
Fresh air and natural sunlight are beneficial to your health. Inhaling clean air helps your lungs to work properly and enriches your blood with plenty of oxygen which then travels all around your body.
Sunlight helps your body to produce Vitamin D, which improves your sleep, and your ability to focus and even boosts your overall mood. However, it is worth remembering that you should be mindful of how much time you spend in direct sunlight and always wear suncream.
Mindfulness and stress reduction
Many gardeners find their outdoor spaces become a place to escape from the stresses and worries of everyday life. By allowing yourself to zone out and focus on a different task, you are giving your brain a break and letting your subconscious take over.
There is also a social aspect to gardening. If you have an allotment seeing the same faces and already having a shared love of gardening can help to strike up conversations. If you only garden in the comfort of your home you may seek advice and share your progress on online groups. This again allows you to meet like-minded people and set up friendships.