Gar­den more and feel bet­ter

21 ways the power of hor­ti­cul­ture can boost your health, well-be­ing and fit­ness

Gardeners' World - - Contents -

Next time you’re feel­ing un­der the weather – a few aches and pains or just stressed out and down in the dumps, don’t reach for a packet of pills – grab your gar­den fork in­stead. We’ve gath­ered ev­i­dence from dozens of stud­ies into how gar­den­ing af­fects your health and there’s only one con­clu­sion: gar­den­ing is in­cred­i­bly good for you. Twenty min­utes plant­ing up a pot with, say, bulbs and spring bed­ding de-stresses you af­ter a hard day’s work and wards off de­pres­sion. Mow the lawn reg­u­larly and you’ll shed a few pounds, stave off heart disease and even halve your chance of get­ting Alzheimer’s disease. Get an al­lot­ment and you’ll eat bet­ter too, putting you among the health­i­est in the pop­u­la­tion. Gar­den reg­u­larly and you’ll be fit­ter, slim­mer and hap­pier than some­one who doesn’t – you’ll even live longer. Gar­den­ing is so ben­e­fi­cial it’s avail­able on the NHS. It’s es­ti­mated one in five doc­tors now prac­tise ‘so­cial pre­scrib­ing’, send­ing pa­tients for reg­u­lar gen­tle ac­tiv­i­ties such as com­mu­nity gar­den­ing to pre­vent dis­eases like di­a­betes and dementia, and tackle so­cial ills such as iso­la­tion. We’ve put to­gether 21 gar­den­ing pre­scrip­tions that you can use to im­prove your health right now. There’s no bet­ter ex­cuse to get out into the gar­den – it’s doc­tor’s or­ders!

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