have a huge impact on your physical and mental health. Why not
6 Ways Gardening Can Help You Become Happier And Healthier
Is there is a connection between gardening and health? You’d think so, but it is stronger than you might think. Now, you and the gym might not happen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some daily exercise from the comfort of your home. And no, I don’t mean doing push-ups while you catch up with Corrie. I mean that withering garden over there, that you don’t pay much attention to. It can do with some TLC!
Let’s face it. You may not be getting to that gym any time soon. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps the day after. You may well think, “Gardening’s a snoozefest”. But think again! There are countless physical, mental and social health benefits to gain from gardening.
1 – Start gardening to fight disease
Your body is exactly like a plant. Just as plants use the sun to help make their food, your skin absorbs sunlight and uses it to make Vitamin D. By being outside in the garden, even if only for 30 minutes, you are giving your body the chance to be happier and healthier.
Why is Vitamin D so important? It has so many different uses that it is hard to just list a few! One reason is that it helps you fight off disease. By supporting your immune system and making sure it stays working as best as possible, Vitamin D makes it less likely that you will get sick.
Just like a refreshing glass of milk, another reason Vitamin D is beneficial is that it helps keep your bones super strong.
The advantages don’t stop there! Research has also shown that gardening may reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, especially breast cancer and prostate cancer.
2 – Start gardening and have a proper workout
3 – Start gardening & improve your memory
Imagine forgetting all the important moments of your life. All those hugs, kisses, and smiles shared with friends and family — just gone.
That is sadly the reality for many people living with dementia.
Although dementia can’t always be prevented, gardening has been shown to help protect your memories as you grow older. Horticultural therapy, which is a fancy way of saying you can use gardening to help improve mental health, effectively reduces the likelihood of dementia appearing.
4 – Start gardening and improve your mental health
5 – Start gardening for stronger relationships
Working together on the same goal — growing your gardens! — is a natural and easy way to improve the connections you cherish.
Gardening at a community garden also has positive benefits. It’s an incredible way to form friendships with new people and a brilliant way to be more involved in what’s going on in your local area.
Joining a community garden is a simple but effective way to form new beneficial relationships and find new friends.
As it happens, those with health problems significantly benefit from gardening too, with the easing of depressive episodes and increasing their energy (RHS, 2021). What’s more, gardening increases the quality of life, life satisfaction and a sense of community (Soga, Gaston& Yamaura, 2017).
Dig into community gardening
GPs are introducing community gardens to their patients, with more and more GPs prescribing gardening for rehabilitation and preventative measures (Chalmin-Pui & Scruby, 2019).
Community gardens are a great way to meet new people and connect with members of your local community. You’re even able to develop employer sought out skills by taking part in community gardening such as communication and critical thinking skills (Thrive,n.d.).
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to pick up a shovel and get stuck in!
6 – Start gardening to find your sense of purpose
Not sure where to start?
Starting up a new hobby can be confusing. There’s so much information and no set way of doing things. Check out some of the links below in the Resources section. We have collected great beginner’s guides to get you started.
Grounding simply involves finding some grass, taking your shoes and socks off, sitting down, and placing the bottom of your feet directly on the ground. Stay like this for as long you like, although we recommend at least 15 minutes. This technique helps promote a stronger connection to nature and the world around you. Plus, you get to absorb some of that lovely sunshine we’ve been going on about!
RHS: Advice for beginners https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/beginners-guide
Gardeners World: Gardening for beginners https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/gardening-for-beginners-10-tips/
Greatist: Beginners guide to gardening https://greatist.com/connect/beginners-guide-to-gardening#why-gardening-is-dope
- Scruby, L. & Chalmin-Pui, L.S. (2019) Why gardening makes us feel better – and how to make the most of it
- Soga, M., Gaston, K.J. & Yamaura, Y. (2017) Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis. Preventive Medicine Reports.5, 92–99. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.11.007.Thrive. (n.d.)
- Zhao, M., Veeranki, S.P., Li, S., Steffen, L.M., etal. (2019) Beneficial associations of low and large doses of leisure time physical activity with all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality: a national cohort study of 88,140 US adults. British Journal of Sports Medicine
- Mead, M. Nathaniel, Benefits of sunlight: A bright spot for human health
- Yoga, Running, Weight Lifting, and Gardening: Penn Study Maps the Types of Physical Activity Associated with Better Sleep Habits
- Effectiveness of horticultural therapy: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials
- Green Care services in the Nordic countries: an integrative literature review
- Garden Counseling Groups and Self-Esteem: A Mixed Methods Study With Children With Emotional and Behavioral Problems
- A prospective study of group cohesiveness in therapeutic horticulture for clinical depression
- British Journal of Sports Medicine.53(22), 1405–1411
- Beneficial associations of low and large doses of leisure time physical activity with all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality: a national cohort study of 88,140 US adults.
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