Not only has the weather been glorious of late, but it’s officially National Gardening Week so what better excuse to don your wellies and head outside to get those fingers green?!
Gardening has endless benefits for your health and wellbeing. For instance, a recent study published in the Journal of Public Health found that just 30 minutes of allotment gardening each week significantly reduces stress and fatigue and boosts self-esteem. And another study conducted by Bakker Scalding found that 88% of people find that mental wellbeing is a key benefit for spending time in the garden. So it’s not just good for your body, but your mind and soul too.
Here are our top 5 gardening health benefits –
- Gardening burns fat and tones you up
Digging, squatting, trimming and mowing are all great forms of exercise that will help to get the heart rate going and tone up those muscles. So you can get fit and lean without being cooped up in a soulless gym! Spend half an hour doing any of the following activities and you can expect to burn -Digging and shovelling: 250 calories
Lawn mowing: 195 calories
Weeding: 105 calories
Raking: 100 calories
- Gardening protects your heart
Any activity that leaves you slightly out of breath and raises the heartbeat can help protect you against heart disease. The leading cause of death worldwide.
- Gardening tops up your vitamin D levels
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body. These nutrients are needed to keep your teeth, bones and muscles healthy and luckily, the body starts to form vitamin D naturally after exposure to sunlight. Is there really any better excuse to spend time in the garden?
- Gardening boosts your mental health
The psychological benefits of being outdoors, working in nature and the fresh air, are also clear. Studies have shown just looking at trees and plants can reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Gardening can also provide a good outlet for anger, and allows us to feel like we are gaining a sense of control when things might be falling apart around us. It can also keep the brain stimulated as we learn new methods and techniques to keep our little patch prime and plentiful!
- Gardening boosts your self-worth and confidence
Gardening connects us to other living things, making us responsible for them. Nurturing seeds and watching them grow, gives us a sense of purpose and achievement, which in turn boosts our self-esteem and confidence.