It is often said that gardening not only adds years to your life, but also life to your years! We take you through the health benefits associated with gardening, both physical and mental:
There are many ways gardening can contribute to your physical health:
Home Gym: Your garden can become your very own home gym! Activities in the garden can elevate heart rate, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. So put down those dumbbells and pick up that trowel!
|Gardening Activity||Calories Burned Per Hour|
|Landscaping/moving rocks/hauling dirt etc.||400-600|
|Raking and bagging leaves||350-450|
|Pulling weeds/planting flowers||200-400|
|Mowing the lawn||250-350|
Sleep: The relaxing, de-stressing nature of gardening combined with the exercise associated with it and sunlight exposure can greatly help our sleeping patterns, which can naturally have a big impact on our health. Studies also show that indoor plants can help to clear the air in your bedroom meaning you can breathe easier during the night.
Diet: Anything that comes out of the ground can only be good for you! Growing your own fruit and veg is a great way of ensuring that your fridge is stocked with everything necessary for you to get in your 5-a-day, while at the same time cutting back on your costs for groceries.
Benefits for the Mind
Did you know that soil contains bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae which gets absorbed through our hands and triggers a release of serotonin in our brain?
Serotonin, the happy hormone, is a natural anti-depressant and increases you sense of wellbeing. Exposure to soil and dirt strengthens the immune system in the long term. The sunshine you get gives your mood an instant lift but also adds to our stores of essential vitamin D.
Gardening can contribute to our mindfulness just as much if not more than our physical wellbeing, and as we know anything that benefits our mind-set can have a knock-on effect for our body.
Sense of Achievement: What better feeling than sitting back and admiring the finished product of a project you’ve put hours into? To put in all of this hard work and to reap the benefits in compliments on your colourful displays or your tasty fruit and veg can work wonders for our self-esteem.
Quality Family Time: Gardening is a great activity for all ages and can be a great opportunity to form a common interest or hobby with other members of your family at home. If you have a family member living with dementia, creating a dementia-friendly garden is a fantastic form of therapy. From a physical point of view, early exposure to mud and earth for children can really strengthen a child’s immune system for later life. Be sure to check out our blogs on gardening projects you can use to get the kids involved here.
Stress Reduction- Getting outdoors and being in touch with nature after being inside for long stints of our daily routines can help us distance ourselves from the stress of everyday life.
One particular study subjected people to performing a stressful task for 30 minutes. After the exercise some of the subjects were told to wind down by spending 30 minutes in their gardens and others were told to read a book for 30 minutes. You guessed it! Those who were gardening showed lower levels of salivary cortisol, a stress hormone, when measured after the activity compared to those who were reading.
Our Sorrento Grey Hanging Egg Chair provides the ideal place to relax in the garden.
Something to Look Forward to: Something as simple as planting a seed can turn out to be exciting and can boost our mood. When we put our faith into the seed to send the roots into the soil and support the leaves above, and we are successful, we sub-consciously carry this optimistic attitude to our everyday lives! This can also teach us to be more patient, which can reduce our stress levels.
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If you have any questions for us here at CountryLife contact us on social media- @CountryLifeGC (Links in footer). If you have a specific problem such as pest damage it’s really helpful to send us a picture- we’d love to help!
Even though our garden centres are temporarily closed as part of the fight against Covid-19, are gardens are still growing and providing a vital refuge for us in these difficult times. Our aim is to keep providing you with our gardening advice and inspiration from our horticulturists even though we all have to make do with our current supplies. We look forward to welcoming you back to our stores soon. In the meantime, we have a restricted range available online for home delivery at CountryLife.ie