02 Sep Incredible Benefits of Gardening
Gardening has been shown to be beneficial for your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Let's look at some of the benefits of gardening you can enjoy from just a little time in the garden.
1. Improve Your Mood
Gardening, and better yet, just being out in the garden has been shown to reduce stress, improve your mood and reduce the need for pain killers.
2. Get Some Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a hormone that is essential for strong bones and muscle use by controlling calcium levels. Sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D.
Just a few minutes (2-10) each day in the mid morning is recommended, but remember to slip, slop, slap, seek, and slide if you're going to be out in the garden for more than that, or in the height of the summer sun!
The body can only absorb a limited amount of vitamin D at a time. Spending extra time in the sun will not increase vitamin D levels - but will increase your risk of skin cancer. Overexposure to UV is never recommended, even for people who have vitamin D deficiency.
3. Help to Manage Mental Illness
If you have mental illness, 10 minutes in the garden isn't going to cure you alone; but including it in your mental health plan may be beneficial. Both UK and Japanese studies have shown that including "green therapy" into your mental health plan improves relaxation, reduces anxiety and reduces depression.
4. It is easy exercise!
We are always encouraging movement and exercise and looking for ways to add extra movement to our day. Getting a work-out in the garden can be as gentle or as intense as you like. If you're up to it a big building and planting project means heavy lifting, lots of squats and lots of steps. If you're looking for a gentle workout, a gentle walk in the garden is beneficial too!
5. Can lead to healthier food choices
Is there any better feeling that harvesting and eating your home grown herbs, fruits and vegetables? They taste better than shop bought, and though sometimes they might be uglier than their shop counterparts, but the feeling of accomplishment is amazing.
6. Get the family together
Gardening can be social! Hang out with your family away from the TV, or if they aren't into gardening with you, community gardens are all over Adelaide and they're a great way to interact with others with similar interests.
Check out the Goody Patch in Goodwood.
7+ Reduce stress, fear, anger and sadness, as well as reducing blood pressure, pulse rate and muscle tension
Just being out in the garden has so many benefits both mental and physical!
Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and restore side of your nervous system) is essential for mental, emotional and physical resilience, so we strongly advise that everyone gets out into the garden for short bursts, even if you don't have a green thumb.
- Thompson R. (2018). Gardening for health: a regular dose of gardening. Clinical medicine (London, England), 18(3), 201–205. https://doi.org/10.7861/clinmedicine.18-3-201
- Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. 2021. Vitamin D - Better Health Channel. [online] Available at: <https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/vitamin-d> [Accessed 1 September 2021].
- The Statesman. 2021. Can gardening be an effective way to fight depression? - The Statesman. [online] Available at: <https://www.thestatesman.com/lifestyle/health/can-gardening-effective-way-fight-depression-1502968258.html> [Accessed 1 September 2021].
- Wahl, D., Villinger, K., König, L., Ziesemer, K., Schupp, H. and Renner, B., 2017. Healthy food choices are happy food choices: Evidence from a real life sample using smartphone based assessments. Scientific Reports, 7(1).
- Greater Good. 2021. How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative. [online] Available at: <https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_nature_makes_you_kinder_happier_more_creative> [Accessed 1 September 2021].
- Soga, M., Gaston, K. and Yamaura, Y., 2017. Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis. Preventive Medicine Reports, 5, pp.92-99.