It's Official - Gardening Really is Good For Your Health!
I've just read an article saying that a bit of light gardening done regularly can lower the risk of kidney stones by almost a third!
It has been well documented over recent years that gardening helps with our general health on many levels, it's good for the heart, blood pressure and diabetes and obviously kidney stones, but also it boosts brain activity and has been shown to really make a difference to mental health too. It helps decrease stress levels whether work related or personal and can be a great natural motivator - after all somebody's got to do the watering - and once you're out there you always find another job that needs doing!
Physical activity stimulates endorphins in our body which are natural feel good chemicals that immediately lift our spirits, improve mood and make us feel much more positive. Gardening in particular is especially good at giving us a great feeling of well being and a healthy glow to boot!
As we get older we may slow down but a few hours a week spent pottering in the garden can produce great health benefits. It can be a great help those suffering from dementia as it can be adapted to individual changes from day to day creating an environment that makes them feel useful which in itself can have a very calming effect.
I have a family member suffering from Alzheimer's who is so much happier if he can potter in the garden, even raking up leaves at this time of year can really make a difference to his day.
More and more health professionals are realising just how good gardens are for us, just sitting or walking through a garden can give a really positive boost. There are now more and more gardens in hospitals which help not only the patients but the stressed-out staff too! Town planners have also come to realise how important green spaces and parks are.
Even prisons are using gardening as a rehabilitation tool and the notorious Rikers Island Jail in New York is using gardening as a calming therapy to prepare prisoners for release.
It must be why we gardeners are such a calm and friendly group of people, it doesn't matter how big or small your plot is, the satisfaction it can give is immeasurable.