Gardening isn’t just about making your home look good and putting your garden to use, but it is a great way to keep healthy too. Looking after your garden can do wonders for your health, no matter your age, and tending to your blooms comes with so many different health benefits. Nature already has big impacts on our health and wellbeing and it is well-known that our cortisol levels (or stress levels), naturally reduce when we are in a calm, natural environment, so imagine the benefits of being out in your garden regularly?
There are plenty of different reasons as to why people pull on their gardening gloves, from planting flowers to growing their own fruits and vegetables, but it is a hobby which many more people are picking up, especially this year after all the time we have spent at home. With this in mind, here are some great examples of why gardening is a great way to keep healthy.
Increase Your Physical Activity Levels
One minute you’re pruning weeds and the next you’re mowing the lawn – it’s so easy to increase your activity levels in the garden without even really realising it! Typically, adults should be getting around two to two and a half hours of exercise per week and this can easily be done pottering in the garden! Whilst gardening is quite low impact, it does help to increase fitness levels and is particularly recommended for older people, families or even those recovering from a stroke or heart attack.
If possible, try to vary the activities you do in the garden so that you are getting a wide range of benefits and physical activity, such as cutting the grass, to emptying bins, doing some weeding or watering the plants.
Positive Impacts On Mental Health
Research has shown that gardening can have hugely positive impacts on mental health, too. Having regular, hands-on experience with nature and the outdoors can help with the long-lasting symptoms of depression and anxiety and it is known that gardening can help you to think more clearly and help improve your attention span.
Gardening can also help improve your mood, and some experts believe it is because of the way it changes your outlook. When you are a keen gardener, you tend to have much more faith in the future and be hopeful that things will grow over the coming months. It tends to give you hope and a reason to look to the future, rather than dwelling on any current negative feelings.
Grow Your Own Healthy Foods
So many adults are now lacking in a number of essential vitamins and nutrients due to the changes in our diets over recent years. There are a growing number of people who are having to take things such as vitamin D tablets and magnesium supplements to combat health issues, but a large percentage of these issues could be solved by simply eating a healthier diet and nothing could be healthier than growing your own food!
Aside from the physical benefits you get from gardening, if you choose to grow your own fruits and vegetables, this can also promote a healthier lifestyle and diet as you are being provided with fresh and healthy foods that you have grown yourself. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables every day can help to reduce the risk of some diseases and health issues, and is a great way to make sure you are getting the right vitamins and nutrients your body needs. By growing your own, you can tailor your choice to vegetables or fruits you like to eat, or one which you know can boost your vitamin intake!
Increase Your Vitamin D Exposure
Sensible sun exposure can be a great way to boost your vitamin D intake, and what better way to do so than tending to your garden on a warm, sunny day? Vitamin D is important for bone strength and helps your body to absorb calcium, but it can also protect against other diseases such as high blood pressure and help to curb the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Of course, you need to be sensible when gardening outdoors and ensure you are wearing adequate sun protection.