January 2022: 6 Remarkable Benefits of Gardening
Did you know that gardening and planting flowers can have remarkable benefits for your mental and physical health? It's true! Gardening is a powerful way to reduce stress and anxiety, and it can also help improve your mood. In this blog post, we will reveal 6 of the most important benefits of gardening, which might have you searching for your trowel and spade today.
1: Gardening reduces stress and anxiety
When you're gardening, you are completely focused on the task at hand. Being present in the moment helps to prevent the mind from wandering and starting to worry about any issues or concerns that you might have. When you're planting flowers or weeding your garden, the level of focus required can help to therefore relieve stress and anxiety, as it gives your mind time to be still and switch off.
In addition, gardening can help you to form a connection with nature. Whether you befriend a robin, start to feed a squirrel or admire the tiny insects that call your garden home. Spending time in nature has been shown to have a number of mental health benefits, which you could be gaining right now!
2: Gardening is a gentle way to exercise
Gardening is also a great way to get some exercise, and when you're active, you tend to feel better emotionally. This is because exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that have mood-boosting effects on the mind. So, by gardening, you can proactively lift your mood which helps to combat depression.
Apart from endorphins, gentle exercise is also going to help you to engage muscles that you don't normally use in your everyday life. From mowing the lawn to trimming hedges, The National Institute of Health suggests 45 minutes of gardening a couple of times a week to maintain a healthy weight.
In fact, gardening on a regular basis can help to prevent painful conditions such as arthritis from becoming worse. Planting flowers will involve bending, kneeling down and resting on your arms and this will all help towards strengthening your muscles and allow you to become more flexible over time.
3: Absorbing vitamin D while gardening
Gardening also offers the added bonus of fresh air and sunshine, both of which are great for your overall sense of health and wellbeing. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D, and this vitamin is important for maintaining mental health. Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked with depression, so spending time outside in the sun can help to prevent this from happening. Vitamin D also helps your body to absorb calcium, and research has shown that Vitamin D can protect you against the development of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Just make sure to wear sun-protection while outdoors.
4: Enjoy the fresh air
Fresh air is also highly beneficial for the lungs, and it can help to clear out any toxins that might be present in your system. In addition, fresh air is known to boost cognitive function and help you to focus. So, by gardening, you're not only improving your mental health, but also your physical health while working on mental clarity. Combine this with another hobby such as puzzles, painting or journaling and you’ll be nurturing your mind, body and soul!
5: Plant flower to promote your physical health
Another remarkable benefit of gardening is that this green-fingered past-time can help to significantly reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill. According to The British Medical Journal, gardening can help reduce your risk of a heart attack and stroke, two of the biggest killers in the UK. For those aged 60 and above, gardening can help prolong life by up to 30%.
6: Prevent Dementia
Some research has suggested that low-intensity exercise such as gardening and planting flowers can help to reduce the risk of dementia. The study analyzed people from 16 up to 80 and found that those who were gardening had a 36% to 47% lower risk of developing dementia compared to those who didn’t enjoy mowing the lawn.
So, whether you enjoy planting flowers, edging your lawn, making the garden presentable for a spontaneous BBQ or simply pruning and weeding, there’s no doubt that gardening is a wonderful way to improve your wellbeing. The next time you feel stressed or down, consider spending some time in your garden because the benefits might just surprise you!