Spending time in your garden, or on the allotment, can have a tremendous effect on your wellbeing, physical health, and give you a general sense of fulfilment. Here are some of the reasons why it’s important to get out and about in the garden and other green spaces:
Improved mental health
There are many benefits of gardening for mental health. Prioritising mental health and well-being is now something that we’re all embracing, and open conversations about how to take time out of busy and pressured lives are much more common. With rates of depression and anxiety on the rise – especially post-pandemic – spending time outdoors and in nature can boost your mood and help lower feelings of worry and unease.
The benefits of being outdoors, creating and nurturing plants, and enjoying time at a slower pace can be significant. Having a space where you can detach from outside distractions, whilst being surrounded by beautiful flowers, plants and fresh vegetables which you’ve helped to grow, can improve both your state of mind and overall mental health.
So, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed and need to take a step back, head outside and embrace the relaxing nature of gardening to help you unwind.
Gardening is a wonderful, and perhaps rather surprising, way to help meet your exercise goals. Current recommendations are that we should all aim to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week. So whether it’s walking to and from your allotment, strolling around your garden, or digging out veg beds or new borders, gardening exercise offers lots of ways to gently raise your heart rate, boost your step count and get the endorphins flowing.
Gardening to improve memory
Spending time outdoors and exercising is a great way to help boost cognitive functions such as memory. Recent research has shown that spending time in your garden is also a great way to give your brain a boost. Some evidence suggest that Horticultural therapy may help your brain’s memory related nerves. So, whilst giving your body a workout in the garden, you’ll be giving your brain a boost too!
Other health advantages
As well as enjoying fresh air, and a slower pace, don’t forget the benefits that Vitamin D on your skin can offer. Spending a short period outside in the sunshine (for around 10 minutes without sunscreen) can create enough Vitamin D to help reduce the risk of heart disease, according to research.
So, with these motivations in mind, our team share three simple and easy things you can do to get you out into your garden:
- Build a raised bed and fill it with a mix of sweet-smelling cutting flowers. The construction of the bed is a great form of exercise, and choosing and adding your preferred plants will provide a pretty and inspiring space which you can watch grow and bloom, before cutting and bringing indoors.
- Set up a veg bed and plant or sow a variety of your favourite vegetables. Tending and growing food just a short walk from your kitchen can give you a great excuse to be outdoors, and inspire you to eat healthily and try new recipes – giving your physical and mental health a boost.
- Create a herb garden, either in a small maintainable container or by dedicating a full bed or border in your garden. The smell of the herbs as you brush past them, not to mention the scents wafting in the air after a rain shower, is a great way to lift your mood. And using herbs in your drinks and food can deliver extra health benefits too!
Gardening is a fantastic way to get outside and give your brain and body a bit of TLC. It’s also a great way to spend time with family and to help teach children all about the wonders and benefits gardening has to offer. If you need more hints and tips for your garden, take a look at our hints and tips page. If you need supplies for your garden, Earth Cycle has all the compost, topsoils, and tools you need!