Gardening is good for you
It’s easy to lose yourself in gardening, tending to plants and pottering about your plot. We seem to escape the pressures of everyday life and feel close to nature so it’s no surprise that gardening is good for you!
Studies have shown the wide range of health benefits from gardening such as reductions in depression and anxiety, as well as increases in life satisfaction, quality of life and sense of community.
Let’s use our garden as a place of relaxation and restoration as well as gardening for gentle exercise and improved wellbeing.
Here’s why a little bit of gardening can do wonders for us:
1 Gardening is great exercise releasing endorphins that also make us feel happy
2 Gardening connects us with nature which puts us at ease and helps us to relax
3 Gardening gives us responsibility; we can see progress and reap the rewards
4 Gardening reduces stress and anxiety, improving our mental health
5 Gardening is fun, enjoyable and rewarding way to spend your time
GARDENING IS GREAT EXERCISE
During the lockdown periods of the COVID pandemic in 2020, many of us really experienced just how much our gardens, gardening and growing can positively impact our health and happiness. Numerous academic studies continue to show a clear link between gardening and our mental and physical health, reductions in anxiety and depression as well as enhanced emotional wellbeing.
As a gentle form of exercise, a Harvard study revealed that just 30 minutes of gardening activities such as raking, weeding or digging can burn as many calories as playing badminton, yoga or horse riding! And as with all forms of exercise, it releases endorphins – those natural happy chemicals that leaving us feeling good, improving our mood and reducing stress. Interestingly, getting your hands dirty in the garden can also improve your mood as research has discovered that certain bacterium in the soil stimulate the production of serotonin and boost our immunity.
CONNECT WITH NATURE
Studies have also shown that humans are instinctively more at ease and relaxed within a natural environment so simply getting out of the house into our gardens or enjoying the natural surroundings – even just going for a walk – helps us in so many ways.
In 2021, Welcome to Yorkshire launched Walkshire, with 365 days of walks in our beautiful county. We’re delighted to sponsor the Water and Industry in Kirkstall Valley walk along the banks of the River Aire at Kirkstall Abbey – find out more about this 5km walk and its historical connections, as well as many others.
Community gardening has notably lead to improved wellbeing within society and mental health charities recognise the role of therapeutic gardening as a form of therapy and rehabilitation. In 2017, we chose The Cellar Trust in Bradford as our charity of the year because of the brilliant work they do using horticulture as rehabilitation.
Our industry continues to champion the benefits of gardening too! British physician Sir Muir Gray famously said that everyone needs a ‘Natural Health Service’ as well as a National Health Service.
And in 2018, the NHS collaborated with the RHS to create a Chelsea garden that highlighted the positive impact that gardens and gardening have on our mental health and emotional wellbeing. After a successful show, the Feel Good Garden was relocated to the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust to put into practice all that it promotes for the patients, their families and staff at the hospital.
BRING THE OUTSIDE IN
And gardening needn’t just be outdoors! Indoor gardening with houseplants is known to boost our mood, reduce stress and even reduce blood pressure. Plants release oxygen into the atmosphere and the benefit of this is really felt in our homes. Whilst purifying the air, some varieties can filter toxins and they all help to reduce stress.
The rise in popularity of houseplants has seen the choice grow (pardon the pun) so there really is a houseplant out there for everyone! Click here to find more about the benefits of houseplants