Perhaps you are a keen gardener already and spend much of your spare time pottering around outdoors, or maybe you’re like me, have no interest in it at all and have let your outdoor space sit neglected and as a result it has become overgrown with weeds and branches.
But, did you know gardening is actually very good for your health? In fact, it is so good that it is now used as horticulture therapy – to treat hospital patients and even to calm prisoners in jail. This therapy is particularly beneficial to stroke patients, those recovering from physical trauma, or people with disabilities.
So if you already enjoy gardening – and now know that great health benefits come with it – it is time to dust off the spade, dig out the trowel from the back of the shed and start tending to your outdoor space! Not only will you have a garden you enjoy spending time in, you will also experience the health benefits that come with it.
Before you start looking for gardening supplies on Bakker Garden Co here are four reasons why it is so good for your health – both mentally and physically!
No.1 Positive effects on mental health
Horticultural therapists say that gardens produce the most positive effects on mental health. Even just looking at a garden can give you a positive boost – so imagine what working in one could do!
Part of the reason for this is because gardening is a distraction, it can alleviate pain and depression simply by taking the gardener’s mind off their troubles, as they concentrate on the job in hand. It is actually believed that substantial savings could be made to the UK economy if gardening was used more widely as a treatment, particularly for mental illness, loneliness and obesity.
No.2 Improves your physical fitness
Gardening is a very physical activity that involves stretching, lifting, bending, walking and so on. Gardening burns calories and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention you can burn up to 330 calories during just one hour of gardening.
Spending time in the fresh air amongst nature has to be a much more enjoyable way of exercising than spending an hour in a stuffy gym on the treadmill! When we exercise levels of serotonin and dopamine, that make us feel good and our levels of cortisol that contribute to feeling stressed, are lowered.
No.3 Prevents diseases
This physical exercise helps to prevent diseases as weight bearing tasks – such as pushing wheelbarrows, for example – are good for your heart and blood flow.
It is believed that a daily does of digging can actually extend your life – as it helps you to lead a healthy lifestyle. And it can help with flexibility and mobility for those less able, helping to stave off debilitating conditions.
No.4 Stress relief
Stress is the cause of many illnesses and gardening allows you relief from this. A study conducted by Gardeners World Magazine found that 90% of gardeners – from a poll of 1,500 – think it improves their mood, this is primarily because it enables you to take any negative feelings out on the garden, as you cut back bushes and dig up soil. So whilst lowering levels of fatigue, depression tension and anger, this heightens self-esteem, mood and sense of worth.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.