Every autumn, the culinary benefits of growing your own produce fill our kitchens. However, there are many other benefits to gardening throughout the year, with one of the main ones being the health benefits. Whether your garden is just a small raised bed, or a group of plant pots on your patio, or a huge garden for you to play with, there are a multitude of health benefits to gain from spending time in your garden.

  1. Stress relief. Spending time outside has been proven to reduce the level of cortisol in your blood stream. Cortisol has been dubbed “the stress hormone”, and influences your mood, immune function and heart health. Gardening also helps to increase a persons self-esteem levels, there is no better way to measure one’s ability to change the world than to nurture a plant from seed to fruit bearing.

  2. Heart health and stroke risk. There are many ways to achieve your recommended exercise levels each week, but gardening offers you the results that encourages you to keep going. Regular gardening has been proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 30% for those over 60.

  3. Hand strength and dexterity. As we age, we often loose the strength and motion in our hands that we need to carry out our day to day tasks. Gardening and using pruning tools helps to keep the muscles in our hands strong, ensuring that we remain mobile in our older age.

  4. Mental health. Not only is daily gardening recognised as being the biggest risk reduction for dementia, but it is also a great way of relieving the symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. The benefits appear to spring from a combination of physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and the satisfaction of the work.