With a growing number of people living in major cities, the world is becoming increasingly urbanised. Considering the day-to-day stresses of urban living – traffic, overcrowding and a fast-paced environment – it’s no surprise that many of us could benefit from the physical and mental advantages provided by gardening. Whether it’s a sprawling veggie patch in the backyard, a flowerbed in a small courtyard, a window box or even a community garden space, almost anyone can achieve a gardening glow.
Here are five reasons you should take up gardening this weekend.
1. The Fitness Factor
Gardening is a great workout, not only working all those major muscle groups, but burning calories as well. Forget about working hard in the gym or building up a sweat on the treadmill. Prolonged light exercise such as gardening can burn as many calories as a gym session, despite being much easier to do.
2. Stress Relief
Gardening can increase life satisfaction, reduce and promote recovery from stress, enhance self-esteem and reduce feelings of depression and fatigue. Ask any gardener and almost all will insist that they feel better after getting their hands dirty in the soil. An activity like gardening gives you something to celebrate and care about. When you’ve tended and grown something it gives you a sense of purpose and pride, which in turn make you feel good about yourself.
3. Mood Enhancing
Gardening improves the mood almost instantly, making it fantastic for the soul. Flowers and plants not only look beautiful, they also have amazing health benefits, such as reducing stress and depression. Flowers increase positive energies and soothe and relax the soul. Plants in the home also increase energy levels and vitality. Discover how to keep houseplants happy here.
4. Immunity Boost
We often avoid getting our hands dirty, but there are health benefits to be gained from exposure to soil. We need to be 100% hygienic, but we don’t need to be 100% dirt or germ-free because our immune system needs something to spar with.
5. Air Quality
Plants have been shown to absorb and degrade all types of urban air pollutants, thereby reducing air pollutants. We have a vital need for constant connections with plants for cleaner air, so gardening time is important. Spending just 15 to 20 minutes each day in the garden can also improve sleep quality because breathing fresh air stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system in the brain, which is responsible for relaxation.
Gisele Zanier is the founder of Australian business Beyond Sunflowers, the experts on everything to do with indoor plants.