Of course, gardening is great for increasing the kerb appeal of your property. But did you know it can also work wonders for your physical and mental health? Here, we explore several reasons why getting in the garden this year may do your wellbeing the world of good.
It’s a good form of exercise
Gardening is considered an effective form of exercise that can help you to build or maintain good levels of fitness. In fact, you can burn several hundred calories doing your usual garden tasks – of course the intensity of the activity will dictate how many calories you burn overall. For instance, high-intensity tasks such as raking, shovelling and moving rocks will consume a higher number of calories than lower intensity tasks such as weeding. But these less intense exercises will still burn calories nonetheless. Plus, gardening helps to strengthen muscles, so put down the Lycra and swap the gym for the garden!
It can boost your mood
Gardening is not only good for your physical health, but your mental condition too. In a society increasingly living sedentary lifestyles indoors, gardening is a great way to get out in the fresh air and enjoy time away from technology. And being outside in nature is said to have a positive impact on mental health. The charity Mind states: “Research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression. This might be due to combining regular physical activity and social contact with being outside in nature.”
It can help to reduce stress
Not only can being in the great outdoors help with depression, but also stress. This is because gardening gives your mind something to focus on away from the pressure and hectic nature of everyday life. It allows the brain time and space to ‘breathe’ in a similar way to meditation – creating chances to slow down and concentrate on just being in the present moment. So, if your mind is racing thinking about managing money, your job, family or anything else, it may be worth starting a project in the garden to allow yourself some time to relax and de-stress.
It can contribute to a healthy diet
Growing your own vegetables will contribute to you consuming a healthier diet overall, as you utilise the produce grown in your garden. Of course, this is dependent on whether or not you tend to a vegetable patch – but if not, it’s never too late to start! How much or how little you grow is completely up to you, but it may be worth starting with easy to grow veg if you’re a beginner, such as shallots. You could also consider planting fruit varieties in the garden such as apple trees – not only will they provide delicious fruit but look beautiful, too. Before you go sourcing some wood and soil to build your veg patch, make sure to check your financial situation, but if everything checks out you could have the satisfaction of homegrown veg in no time!
Why not boost your health and wellbeing by going in the garden today?