Garden more and feel better
21 ways the power of horticulture can boost your health, well-being and fitness
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!