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4 wellbeing benefits of gardening

I’m sure everyone will agree that it feels like forever ago that we were sat outside, Pimms in hand, sunglasses on, the BBQ sizzling. We’re in touching distance of this, but first we need to reverse the winter damage and take some time to get our gardens summer ready.

Unfortunately during the colder months of the year we naturally spend less time pottering around the garden, so a bit of forward thinking is essential as soon as the clocks go forward.

Gardening shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a time to relax and escape. The destination of a beautiful garden is great, but the journey of creating it could be just as wonderful. Research studies have shown many health benefits to gardening, with findings including significant reductions in depression and anxiety, and improved social functioning.

In this blog post we’re going to take a look at the wellbeing benefits of gardening.

1. Gardening and mental health

There are reportedly 1 in 4 adults experiencing mental health illness right now, and we’re not saying gardening is going to miraculously fix this statistic, but it could help even just a little.

Out of 317 people who took part in table-top gardening sessions run by Thrive across Berkshire, Hampshire and south Oxfordshire, 80% reported better mental health as a result.

In the video below, BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Mark Lane discusses how gardening improved his mental health struggles:

It’s Not Just Gardening – TV Presenter Mark Lane
2. Physical benefits of gardening

Gardening is not only good for your mind, but it’s good for your body. Great for your body in fact. Activities such as raking, weeding and trimming can improve your overall fitness levels, burning up to around 300 calories an hour, as well as preventing or controlling high blood pressure.

3. Social benefits of gardening

Allotments have always been popular, with gardening being a fantastic way to mix socially with like-minded people, and from this you can learn lots of new skills from others.

This is something that we heavily encourage amongst our integrated retirement communities, with many of our locations having their own garden space and green houses for our green- fingered residents.
Find your nearest ExtraCare retirement community here.

4. Produce from the garden promotes healthy eating

There’s no better way to motivate yourself to eat a better diet than to grow your own diet! The likelihood of your eating habits improving by growing your own produce is very high, and by doing so you will be creating lasting habits of eating a lot more fruit and vegetables.

Pros to eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables:

• Lower blood pressure
• Reduces the risk of heart disease
• Reduces the risk of a stroke
• Prevent some cancers
• Lowers risk of eye problems
• Lowers risk of digestive problems
• Great source of vitamins
• Low calorie and low fat