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Health Benefits of Gardening

Ryman Healthcare ambassador and Aussie garden expert, Matt Leacy shares his tips on how gardening can benefit physical and mental health.

Gardening as a weekly routine

Adding gardening to your weekly fitness regime can provide even more benefits than exercise alone. Bending, lifting weights, and stretching all feature in regular gardening, but there are other benefits as well. Connecting with nature, watching plants grow, and listening to the birds can all support a healthy mind.

Gardening for balance

Caring for plants in hanging pots and planters can help support good balance. Lifting your arms up and down and looking upward while focusing on a task can exercise your stabilising muscles – the ones that kick in when we lose our balance. To keep safe, make sure that your planters hang at a comfortable height and are positioned away from walking areas to avoid any head knocks.

Gardening for health

It’s important to keep active throughout our lives to help reduce the risk of disease and health emergencies like heart disease and stroke. The positive health benefits of gardening have even been found to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and can help with chronic pain and arthritis by regularly moving your joints.

Gardening for vitamins

Soaking up vitamin D while you’re out in the sun gardening can help build bone density. Vitamin D supports the intestines to absorb calcium from the food you eat. It’s important to get enough of both nutrients, because combines, they can help make your bones dense and strong.

Gardening for organic food

It’s so exciting that we don’t have to go far from our houses to improve our health. There are so many benefits to growing your own food. You can control the pesticides and fertilisers used, you can lower your food miles, and it’s easy to encourage your kids or grandkids to eat more vegetables when they’re growing and harvesting them. Vegetables and fruits are great for boosting your winter immunity, and it doesn’t get fresher than picking them from your garden.

Gardening herbs to boost immunity

Herbs are a great source of nutrients and they don’t require a lot of space to grow. They’re ideal for small gardens and balcony planters. You might opt for aromatic classics like basil, mint, parsley, thyme, rosemary, chives, and chillies. Or you might branch out and try other herbs with health benefits like turmeric, ginger, ginseng, Echinacea, and maca.

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