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Brits have been deemed a nation of gardeners for a reason. Almost 9 out of 10 people in the UK own a private garden, which they love pottering around in. And if not, there are city folks, who enjoy the privilege of working their old-fashioned allotment nearby. Well, not everyone has the time to tend to their lawn and flower beds and often prefer to hire help. But during the months of lockdown, things turned around, that’s for sure. More and more people are finding solace in their backyards and feeling the therapeutic effect of cutting the grass and planting a few veggies. On that note, we couldn’t agree more that gardening offers some proven benefits to our mental and physical health.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about how gardening activities can help you live a healthier life, read on.
This post is for all those, who:
We all know that exercise is good for you. And gardening easily falls into this category. After all, you tone a few muscles in the process, right? Hmm, we hear you, but what about the bad back? Well, there are ways of engaging in light gardening activities, suited to anyone, no matter their level of fitness. So, you can enjoy the health benefits of gardening without doing any back-breaking jobs. But we’ll come to this a bit later.
You’ll inevitably lose a few pounds and inches around your waist, through walking backwards and forwards in your garden, say, between your shed and a flowerbed or around your lawn when doing some edging. And that’s not all, all this stretching and squatting, for instance, that you might need to do during different light gardening tasks, will also help you slim down a bit.
This goes hand in hand with any physical activity. You’ll find that various groups of muscles become more toned as a result. Your hands, arms, legs and back will gradually become stronger when you do a bit of digging, trimming or weeding. And the beauty is that you don’t have to exert yourself to slowly boost your level of fitness.
Again, manual work and exercise are proven to contribute to one’s good night sleep. Various chemical processes take place in our bodies during physical activities, which result in reduced stress-associated hormones. Just as an example, when cortisol levels are high, this can cause frequent waking during the night, or in other words, it increases light sleep. So, physical work during the day will prevent you from tossing and turning at night.
It’s well known that outdoor activities make you feel more energized. Imagine what 8 hours of sitting and working on your computer all week does to you, especially when we consider the recent global health situation. Staying at home most of the time can easily make people feel lethargic and less energetic. So, take the opportunity to go outside and plant a few pretties in your garden to increase your energy levels.
Gardening is a proven stress reliever and we bet you’ve read enough on how harmful stress can be to our health. Numerous life-threatening conditions are caused by anxiety and stressful ways of living, including stroke, heart-related problems and more. So, forget your daily worries and spend an hour watering your plants, which is one of the most relaxing and not that laborious gardening jobs.
Fresh air and some sun rays will do wonders for your immune system, as vitamin D is a major player in our ability to fend off disease and stay healthy. And generally, spending time outdoors at least once a day is beneficial for your well-being, as we’ve stated already. And why not involve your children to join in a gardening activity? Bonding time, family time… and positive experiences boost our immune system, as well.
Chirping birds, the mixture of flower smells, the aroma of freshly cut grass or freshly dug soil, the light drizzle on your face – an explosion of sensations that just can’t compare to what we can sense and feel when indoors. Enjoy the different textures and colours of plants and treat your senses by spending some outside time each day doing anything useful in the garden. Even if it’s something simple like mulching around a couple of shrubs, you’ll feel the benefits in an instance.
Gardening is also a rather meditative activity. One can just immerse themselves “in the moment” when doing something repetitive, yet pleasant in the garden. Be it pinching spent flower petals, pooling the odd weedling in your garden path or raking the leaves off the lawn, you’ll soon find that you’re not thinking about anything and your mind is suddenly at peace. And how amazingly positive is this for your mental health, right? Or in other words, gardening is great for the soul!
Completing any type of task, of course, gives you that great sense of achievement, which translates into boosted self-confidence. But you see, with gardening, this goes to a whole new level. You actually get to see how things emerge, grow, develop and thrive. You sow one seed and a beautiful plant appears to bloom and give you joy. And the more positive and happy feelings you get a day, the healthier you will be.
Yep, growing your own veggies and fruit is one of the best decisions you can make when it comes to healthy living. And you may even save a few pennies in the process if you stop buying certain seasonal greens from the shop. So, with edible gardening, you’ll be “killing two birds with one stone”. Not only will you get to eat all this rich-in-vitamin organic produce but you’ll be also taking advantage of all those health benefits that gardening offers, we’ve discussed so far.
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Well, not everyone can do hard and back-breaking jobs in the garden. Also, some garden maintenance tasks require a bit of expertise. It’s not easy to prune a capricious shrub if you don’t know what you’re doing, for instance. You may simply do more harm than good. So, below, we’ve listed a few ideas on what gardening activities you can engage in, which can be of benefit to your physical and mental well-being. The good thing is that they are not that strenuous to do, nor do they require a horticultural degree.
The list of gardening jobs doesn’t stop here. There’s so much to do during the growing season and warm months of the year. And not everyone has the time, tools, skills or physical strength to complete every task that needs doing. Well, this is where Fantastic Services can help you out. We work with true masters in the gardening profession, who can offer their garden maintenance assistance to you any time of the week. From lawn mowing, hedge trimming and garden clearance to weed control and tree pruning, the Fantastic gardeners can handle them all.
And that’s not all. They can happily share some expert gardening tips with you. So, just ask!
Image source: Shutterstock / Halfpoint
Do you find gardening therapeutic? What is your favourite gardening activity? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section below!