Gardening isn’t just about getting your hands dirty and making your garden space look pretty. Gardening can do wonders to our health and well-being and there are amazing charities out there who use gardening to support a range of people, from mental health issues and disabilities to age related conditions such as dementia and stroke survivors.
So perhaps rather than spending your free time curled up watching television, why not roll up your sleeves and spend more time in your garden. Here’s how tending to your garden will benefit your health.
Improve heart health
You can burn more calories doing light gardening for one hour than you can walking at a moderate pace. As you’re burning calories in the gardening, you’re strengthening the heart and improving your physical health and of course having good physical health and lead to a whole other ton of benefits such as managing your weight better and reducing the risk of major illnesses.
Boost your mood
There is a positive correlation between gardening and reduction in depression and anxiety. Gardening for just 30 minutes can reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, which leads to improved mental well-being and sleeping patterns. Gardens can be a relaxing environment to be in and our efforts feel rewarding, which in return boosts our self-esteem. So next time you have a bad day, get in your garden and get growing!
Eat a healthier diet
There’s nothing better than the taste of fresh produce that you’ve grown in your own garden, right? It brings a huge sense of achievement and helps people develop a lasting habit of eating fruits and vegetables, as well as helping children try new foods they may not have eaten before.
Boost your immune system
Gardening gives you a chance to soak up some Vitamin D, which is essential for your immune system. Gardening also provides greater exposure to soil bacteria which can also help to develop a healthier, stronger immune system. So, go ahead and get your hands dirty!
Improve hand dexterityIt’s common to lose strength and dexterity in our hands as we age, which can limit the ability to do certain activities. Digging, carrying and pulling are all forms of exercise which can help you’re your hand muscles vigorous and agile. Thanks to these activities older gardeners have been found to have better hand strength. But be careful not to overdo it as pushing your hands too far can also cause repetitive stress injuries.