It's National Gardening Week! Research shows that the sensory and physical aspects of gardening has some incredible health impacts. Here are just a few of them..
Gives you an excellent workout without you realising.
So you think pottering around in the garden is just something for your elderly neighbours to do? Think again! Pushing a wheelbarrow, shoveling earth, planting seeds, picking weeds, hoeing rows, pushing a mower, and building containers provide a complete body workout both for your muscles and heart, one study by the American Society for Horticultural Science suggests. What's even better, is that it's productive exercise. Not only are you flexing your biceps and working your quads when you're picking up pots and squatting to plant some seeds, but you're creating produce and beautiful flowers for yourself and others in your home to enjoy.
Strengthens your immune system.
Of course, having dirty fingernails has never been a sign of great overall cleanliness and hygiene, but according to scientists it's actually an indication of great well-being. According to research that has been published in Science, toiling in the garden serves as an effective preventative measure for certain allergies, in addition to reducing the severity of an allergy response, a study undertaken by the University of Copenhagen indicates.
Revitalises your brain.
Research that has been published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests that not only is gardening a great workout for your body, but it's simultaneously a powerful instrument for strengthening cognitive health. Participants in a study found that the volume of their brain was increased, and their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease was reduced by half.
Nourishes your spirit.
According to researchers from NASA, working alongside plants is an amazing stress reliever and provides positive sensory stimulation. The scientists that have launched humans into space in the past have learnt that gardening helps astronauts stay positive and sane in the extremely different environment of outer space. Mental health can be improved merely nurturing and planting seeds in small pots.
Academics studying the health impacts of gardening at Kansas State were amazed to see that as a gardener's skills developed and improved, their self-esteem simultaneously saw a boost.