Whether you’ve been gardening for many years now or you’ve only just got your hands on a shiny new set of gardening tools, but yet to get them dirty, there’s really no time like the present to learn about the many benefits gardening can provide for your health as well as our planet. And now is the time to be protecting and nurturing greenery and Mother Nature. Not only is gardening good for both your mental and physical wellbeing, but you could find yourself with some financial benefits and environmental benefits too. Gardening engages the body, stimulates the mind and uplifts the spirit! Ready to find out more?
Dirt is good! Gardening can work wonders for your physical and mental health. Did you know that pulling weeds and planting flowers can cause you to burn 200-400 calories per hour? That makes gardening a very enjoyable and therapeutic workout! In terms of physical health benefits, gardening can improve your immune system (since you’re getting your hands dirty), provide more vitamin D due to more exposure to natural light, help with mobility and flexibility, and decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Sounds pretty good right?
In addition to all of the above benefits for your physical health, getting outside into your own garden or a communal garden can also help your mental health. It can reduce stress and anxiety, keeps the mind sharp and happy, provides more exposure to fresh air, enhances the sensory system, and promotes a good night’s sleep. Even though gardening is for any age, it is particularly beneficial for seniors.
To some people, gardening might mean attending to a fully-fledged garden complete with multiple levels and an entire garden-centre’s worth of plants and shrubs; however, to some other people, gardening might mean perfecting a small patch of grass at the front of their home, or even a vertical garden on their balcony. Just because mature trees can absorb roughly 48 pounds of CO2 a year, doesn’t mean you have to have a fully grown tree sitting in your back garden – any amount of gardening will help. You just need to grow and nurture what you can.
All set to grab your gardening gloves? Not only can gardening provide mental and physical health benefits, an eco-friendly garden can help release oxygen into the air, absorb carbon dioxide for a cleaner atmosphere, and provide habitat and food for wildlife. You could even try your hand at growing some of your own fruit and veggies, or even herbs. Grow-your-own gardeners could save an average of $349 (£268) a year!
The infographic below, designed by JD Williams, outlines all the above benefits of gardening and provides some tips on how to attract wildlife to your garden. If having a garden just isn’t an option right now, there’s even a section outlining which houseplants will thrive best in each room of your home. Ready to become green fingered?