Gardening is good for you. At least that’s what the NHS considers since it has decided to add social prescribing to its Long Term Plan. As the population is ageing, healthcare costs become more of a burden, and therefore there’s a need for preventative healthcare measures and activities.
Gardening can become one of the main pillars of preventative healthcare, thanks to its potential to improve mental health and wellbeing. There’s undergoing research that aims to find effective ways of maximizing the health benefits of gardening.
Gardening Is Exercise With A Purpose
Everybody agrees that exercise is good for you. According to the NHS, exercise is a key ingredient of a healthy and rewarding life. There’s medical evidence that people who exercise regularly have a much lower risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. At the same time, living a sedentary life increases the risk of mental and physical illness, and therefore takes a heavy toll on our society.
It’s not very clear, though, how gardening can help keep you healthy and fit. Gardeners will be pleased to find out that the number of calories they burn during their work in the garden equals the number of calories burnt from playing volleyball or badminton or from practising yoga or Pilates.
Nevertheless, like any other strenuous activity, gardening has the potential to cause injuries, should you do it the wrong way. Digging, for instance, is a strenuous activity with high injury potential. It’s best for you to understand how to do it correctly, in order to prevent injury and put less strain on your muscles. Thanks to modern technology, scientists can understand now how the action of digging exerts loads on bones, joints, and muscles. They can use this data to find out what the best practices should be, in regard to practising gardening the safe way. If you are interested in having some landscaping work done, there are some great companies in Guildford Surrey just search Commercial Landscaping Guildford.
Gardening Can Keep You Healthy And Happy
The benefits of choosing gardening as your main hobby stretch beyond its exercise value. According to some studies, gardening can alleviate anxiety and depression. Also, it can help elderly people maintain their independence and slow down cognitive decline. Since there are so many health benefits of gardening, scientists encourage governments and health organisations to promote this activity on a larger scale. For instance, Exeter and Tokyo universities have published research that shows solid evidence of such health benefits.
All of this research is in line with what the scientific community has already discovered about the benefits of green spaces such as urban parks, gardens, national parks, and wilderness areas.
The 2014 study by the University of Exeter Medical School took a closer look into the link between mental health and the living area of 1000 subjects. Their study found that people living in areas with plenty of green spaces reported less mental distress. The data was adjusted for income, employment status and education level, and therefore the results were reliable and fairly accurate. An older study conducted by Dutch scientists discovered that people living within half a mile of a green area had a lower incidence of 15 medical conditions, including anxiety, depression, asthma, migraines, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
As you can see, gardening has a tremendous potential to help us live a better life in our elderly years. This is one very good reason to grab that shovel and start digging!