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How gardens and green spaces can benefit our health

For many, the coronavirus lockdown caused a ‘gardening green revolution’. Many have unearthed a new-found love of nature, parks, and gardens with the majority of us previously taking such simplicities for granted.

The benefits not only for our physical well-being but our mental and social good health have been discovered by many and as a result there has been a surge of interest in gardening.

Some of the benefits that gardens and greenspaces provide include:

  • Exercise – Gardening is a recognised form of exercise with the ability to help improve mobility, burn calories and over time strengthen your bones, muscles and joints. Gardening provides a full-body workout whether this comes in the form of digging up soil, carrying water, mowing the lawn or weeding. These activities are all beneficial in increasing your heart rate helping contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Natural therapy – Gardening is a form of horticultural therapy which can help to reduce stress, depression and anxiety while enhancing self-esteem, self-confidence, and communication skills. One study suggests 88% of people go out into their garden to improve their mental wellbeing which is understandable, as gardening activities allow our minds to focus on one single task enabling us to forget about those everyday stresses.
  • Gain a sense of achievement – Growing your own fruit, veg or flowers can provide us with a great sense of achievement. Based on the hard work, care, and dedication we’ve invested into our gardens we can gain a sense of accomplishment as we watch our garden thrive through the summer months. This can enhance our confidence and motivation as we take pride in the work that we’ve completed.
  • Communication – Joining a gardening club is the perfect way to meet new people who share the same interest. Not only does it provide rich opportunities to connect but you can develop lots of gardening tip and tricks while learning about different plants and various new projects to try. It’s the perfect way to develop reciprocal relationships and support networks especially for those vulnerable and isolated groups.
  • Eating healthier – Growing your own fruit and veg is not only more cost-effective but is easy to grow, can produce large yields and is possible to preserve them for later in the year. You’ll also be likely to eat more fruit and veg because who doesn’t want to try their own home-grown produce?
  • You can trust that your produce hasn’t been spread with potentially harmful herbicides and pesticides like the ones that have travelled hundreds of miles to get to your local supermarket and on to your plate. This helps create a healthy body and a healthy planet – so it’s a win-win for everyone!   

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