Updated: Jan 7
Quite aside from the benefits of creating a beautiful picture and putting food on the table, gardening has many health benefits that are not to be sneezed at; including strength, endurance, dexterity, learning, problem solving and sensory awareness.
Gardening is not only good for your physical, but also your mental well being; considered to be moderate to high intensity exercise, just 1 hour of light gardening can burn up to 330 calories – an excellent way to burn off those mince pies!
Studies have shown that just looking at trees and plants reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and relieves tension in muscles -just as a beautiful painting lifts the spirits, soaking up the colours, scents and sounds of the great outdoors acts in much the same way.
Whilst working outside you’ll also soak up plenty of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium is essential for keeping bones strong and your immune system healthy.
As we age, diminishing dexterity and strength in the hands can gradually narrow the range of activities that are possible or pleasurable. Gardening can keep those hand muscles vigorous and agile without oft-forgotten exercises such as a physiotherapist might prescribe. Just be sensible not to repeat the same motion so many times that you cause any repetitive stress injuries.