If you needed additional inspiration to become a green fingers, then were about to give you some…
For many of us, gardening is both therapeutic and enjoyable, but in the winter months we tend to want to stay indoors – especially on account of the erratic British weather.
Well this may be a viable excuse, but did you know there are also health benefits to gardening? That’s right, gardening can make you fitter in general, boost your immune system and introduce your body to natural healing properties.
Keep reading for more information….
Exercise has a lot of benefits; it improves oxygen and nutrient supply throughout your body, reduces high-blood pressure and the risk of cancer, and maintains bone density and muscle strength.
Gardening is also a fantastic way to exercise over a weekend or on your day off, and in many cases you’ll get a full body workout. For example;
- If you are weeding the grass, your body will benefit from squatting
- If you are using the lawnmower, you will benefit from the walking
- Carrying compost will ensure you are working both your arms and legs
These tasks are obviously more beneficial for an elderly person, but no matter how old you are, walking, lifting and implementing any form of physical activity will help your health enormously.
Down and Dirty
Did you know that getting your hands dirty, or ‘becoming a green fingers’ as we call it in the industry, exposes you to all sorts of friendly bacteria which can boost your immune system?
I know, crazy right!?
Our body needs a balance of bacteria (the good kinds) to be healthy, so you should never be worried when getting out into the muck as you try and create a masterpiece!
All kinds of studies into the benefits have shown the following;
- It lowers blood pressure and can cut stroke and heart attack risk by up to 30% for those over 60.
- It can increase your brain activity and reverse “attention fatigue”.
- Gardening can have a calming effect on your mood and positively affect mental health. It also counters stress and anxiety.
Oh, and you’ll also feel a sense of purpose, satisfaction and achievement watching your plants grow.
Grow Your Own Things!
We all know that we should eat fruit and vegetables on a daily basis – especially when it’s repeated to us over and over again by the government – so why not grow your own?
It’s rewarding to watch your greens grow, harvest them and then add to a healthy dish – and it sets a great example for children too.
Kale, for instance, has anti-cancer properties, 45 different antioxidant flavonoids, vitamin K and calcium, and is fairly easy to grow.
Greenhouses are the ideal way to start. Click here for some fantastic options.
Gardening has even been credited as a type of meditation, which is great for mental health.
Christopher Smithson, a practicing monk from Bristol says: “When you are looking intensely at something, or you bend down to smell something, you bypass the [analytical] function of the mind.
You think more, stop obsessing and tend to worry less. Your senses are awakened, you enter the present moment and you move to ‘the zone’.