4 ways in which gardening can benefit your health

You may have heard the term ‘therapeutic horticulture’.  Perhaps you’re already benefiting from it?  How great would it be to have a hobby that you love, that brings you happiness and improves your health? Better still, you don’t need a load of fancy expensive equipment, and there isn’t an inch of Lycra in sight!

Gardening is that hobby, I do what I love, and over the years I’ve learned how good it is for my health and happiness. I am not alone: thousands of others are finding it through our Seed to Vase course and The Cut Flower Collective and a wealth of research material supports how beneficial gardening is to your health and well-being.

Gardening provides so many health and well-being benefits, it’s impossible not to love it. And at the end of the day (or season), you will have an abundance of cut flowers that you can use to spread more joy and happiness.

There is a plenty of research to read about the health and wellness benefits of gardening, but here are a few of my favourites:

1. Sensory Play

There is nothing like being in the garden to awaken the senses. In the garden, you find an array of colours and shapes. You hear the birdsong and rustling of leaves. The fragrance is beautiful (if you have been buying shop-bought flowers, you will be in for a surprise). There is nothing like sinking your hands into the soil and somehow spending time outside awakens your taste buds.

2. Snooze time

There is evidence to suggest that gardening improves sleep. Yes, I can vouch for the increased physical activity inducing a restful night’s sleep. Still, research indicates* that exposure to natural light helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, producing a better night’s sleep. The perfect antidote to insomnia, especially in those menopause years!

3. What was that?

Studies have shown that gardening can improve memory and cognitive function. For example, research that measured brain nerve growth factors in participants before and after gardening found that various gardening activities increased the participants’ levels. The process works by increasing cell proliferation and growth.

4. Natural endorphins

Spending time outside increases your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential to the proper functioning of the body’s immune system. Low levels of vitamin D or vitamin D deficiency have even been associated with increased susceptibility to or risk of illness, infection, and disease.

So, now you have four more reasons to spend time working in the garden. Gardening offers many advantages, including physical, mental, and emotional benefits. It also allows you to learn new skills, meet new people and make social connections—what’s not to love?

Whether you’re already green-fingered or a complete newbie to the garden, I can help you build your skills and get up-and-growing in no time. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our online courses, masterclasses and flower growing communities via The Cut Flower Collective.

Roz

* Stanford Medicine research on being outdoors and improved sleep

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