We all know that walking is a great way to relieve stress after a hard day’s work, be it at the office, on the road or at home looking after the kids. It’s one surefire way of getting rid of all that pent up pressure and anxiety that a challenging day could bring us. It has been the greatest, medicinal free solution to all of those emotional, physical and work related issues and is still being recommended by physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists therapists and so on. However we still haven’t bought into the health benefits of gardening in such great numbers as those experts would like.
Only those of us that do gardening on a regular basis benefit from this hobby or past-time and if the truth was known, we probably take these benefits for granted on a regular basis. If we were to ask a gardener about this, I would suggest that he or she, would not be able to list off, all or some of these health benefits that can be gained and accquired by being active out and about in our backyards and backgardens. In this post we will look at some of the most important elements and uplifting qualities of this past-time and see how they would benefit us going forward.
Health benefits of gardening;
The exercise and workout that digging on it’s own can bring will have to right at the top of the list for us, in that we are working all or most of our muscles and limbs. Picture for a moment ourselves in the garden with a shovel, spade or fork and we are about to dig the soil and get it ready for planting. There is a great deal of pyhsical work and effort required at this stage and its a task that is hugely advantageous to our physical and emotional wellbeing. There are so many advantages to this exercise, that its considered more beneficial than an hours hardwork out at a gym. The calories that we burn, the exercising of all the limbs and muscles, the heartrate is rising, the blood is flowing freely, the lungs are pumping and much much more.
Let’s look at some of these exercises and these can be; bending, stooping, kneeling, lifting, carrying, walking, standing and so on. Without realising it, one can easily see at a glance that this is a fantastic way to get really healthy and it’s all a means to an end in that we are just preparing our garden for our vegetables, so its a win win all around.
What the experts say;
There are numerous articles, papers, books, journals, videos and so on written and produced about this activity, not only do they concentrate on the physical aspect of this past time, but also and more importantly on the mental and emotional side of this equation. Its reckoned that by spending just 2-3 hrs per week in our gardens, this will reduce that risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, sudden death and much much more. Right there, we have just listed the top serious illnesses that effect the human race as we know it today.
We have looked at the physical side of things up to now, so lets look at the mental and emotional issues and positive enhancement that gardening would and could bring to our lives. First and foremost it will greatly reduce stress and anxiety, depression and many more of those types of illnesses. Whilst out and about digging in the garden, we are at one with nature, we are not thinking about any of our daily concerns or issues that otherwise preoccupy most or part of our daily going ons. We are completely removed from those pressures as we become totally immersed in our gardening chores.
Gardening for those with challenges;
Along with improving our own mental and physical health, gardening has been proven to be beneficial to other people, who may have special needs and are metally and physically challenged. People that may not be capable of gardening by themselves are slowly being introduced to little gardening tasks and chores and there is a remarkable improvement in their personal as a result of this. Psychiatrists and therapists are forever championing the mental and physical advantages and benefits of having these people get out and about in the countryside hiking, getting them into garden centres or else getting them involved with caring and catering responsibilities at small animal centres.
The positive results of this type of exercise has made some startling revelations from a medical perspective and the specialists cannot wait to see more of this type of healthy living and getting out and about more.
The upshot of all of this research and experimentation is that the experts tell us, to basically start growing a garden for our health and mental wellbeing. The benefits have been well documented and anyone that has ever stood in a garden knows that this information and advise is very credible and advantageous.
The brilliant thing about outside gardening is that it can be both energetic and relaxing and at the same time become very enjoyable the more we do it. Activity is not only confined to springtime, when the planting and sowing is at its busiest, but the fact is, we can be gardening all year round. Watering is required during the summer or dry periods, weeding and maintenance is always an ongoing unwanted issue and then there is the harvesting of our hard work in the fall. Should the weather be inclement and not conducive to gardening, there are always jobs to be done in the greenhouse or perhaps the garden shed neeeds a makeover.
Gardening is and always will be a win win situation, there are the mental and physical benefits and after that hard work we have a garden full of bounty to show for our hard work and dedication. I trust that you have enjoyed this article on the health benefits of gardening and if so, always remember that we are a social and outgoing bunch here at buildingraisedbeds.com. Please do join in the conversation and we will fully engage with you at any time.
Happy gardening to all who try and succeed,
Cheers Phil Browne.