7 surprising mental and physical benefits of gardening

7 surprising mental and physical benefits of gardening

The benefits of gardening are endless, going beyond just connecting with nature. From promoting physical exercise to reducing the pangs of stress, spending time in the great outdoors really does work wonders.

According to a previous study conducted by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), households who garden regularly have daily wellbeing scores six per cent higher than those who don't garden at all. A natural healer, tending to your plants could be the mood boost you need.

With summer on its way, now is the perfect time to get your outdoor space in shape — and give yourself an instant mood lift. To encourage you to garden, Delamere Health have revealed the importance of connecting with nature. Take a look at the benefits below...

1. Reduces stress

Gardening is an excellent way to reduce tension and stress from everyday pressures, with the experts at Delamere Health discovering that it lowers cortisol levels — a chemical our bodies produce in response to stress.

If you're fortunate to have your own garden, why not grab your gardening spade and tend to those plants. You'll feel better in no time...

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2. Helps us to be more creative and problematic

Did you know that gardening can help tap into your creative energy? With the average person having over 6,000 thoughts each day, gardening could be help to focus the mind by calming the brain and body.

'Creativity goes beyond making you happy in the present. It also is an effective way to reduce the symptoms of dementia, improves memory and cognitive abilities,' Delamere Health say. 'Your memory begins to improve when you become more imaginative, so get creative with your garden displays by adding colour, texture and decorative features.'

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3. Cuts back screen time

Gradually cutting back screen time can help you accomplish your goals and create lasting habits. While it's often a challenge to put the phone down, heading out in the garden could be the distraction you need.

'Cutting back the amount of time spent in front of a screen and substituting it with an activity such as gardening can help to improve your overall health and wellbeing,' explain Delamere Health. 'Gardening helps to break bad habits and provides an exciting hobby for the whole family to enjoy.'

4. Promotes physical exercise

As well as boosting your mental health, activities such as raking, weeding and trimming can improve your overall fitness levels, too. In fact, a study found that being out in the garden for just 30 minutes can burn up to 300 calories. As well as this, the exposure to sunlight from gardening can also naturally increase serotonin in our body — a 'happy hormone'.

Related StoryGardening boosts wellbeing as much as exercise

5. Creates a sense of responsibility and control

From designing a garden to planting seeds, gardening is a brilliant way to maintain a sense of order — and give people purpose each day. Growing your own produce, for example, will give you the joy of watching seedlings grow.

Delamere Health also explain why it's a great hobby for families to enjoy together: 'Gardening is also a great way to teach children about responsibility. Families can learn together to take care of their seeds for them to grow. Children can develop a sense of mindfulness, learning how respect for your environment and plants is important.' Why not get the children involved this summer?

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6. Develops a growth mindset

Previous research conducted by Permaculture found that when we grow fruits, vegetables and other outdoor plants, we receive a dopamine boost each time we harvest. Dubbed the 'harvest high', it is known as the biological reward mechanism for cultivating your own crops.

7 surprising mental and physical benefits of gardening

7. Builds connection

Gardening with others can be a relationship connector. Community gardens, for example, can help build social growth through shared interests and common goals.

'Gardening with family, friends or organised groups can provide individuals with the opportunity to connect with others and nature, reducing feelings of isolation and exclusion,' explain Delamere Health.

'Being close to nature can also reduce feelings of anger, fear, stress and increase happiness. Not only does being outdoors help emotionally, but it helps contribute to physical wellbeing by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and production of stress hormones.'

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15 gardening gloves that are durable and comfortable

Best breathable gloves – Gardening GlovesBurgon & Ball Tweed Gardening Gloves, Medium, GreyBurgon & Balljohnlewis.com£17.50SHOP NOW

This classic grey pair of gloves has an adjustable strap to keep your hands secure whilst gardening. They also have ultra-soft felt palms and a breathable mesh fabric to help you keep cool when it's warm.

Everyday gloves – Gardening GlovesEveryday gardening glovesCrocus£27.99SHOP NOW

With non-slip dots for a sure grip and a four-way stretch fit, these everyday gardening gloves keep hands protected from cuts as well as the sun (they have been made with certified 50+ UPF for maximum sun protection).

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Coming in at just over £12, these green gloves have a 3D breathable mesh back to keep your hands cool and comfortable. Ideal for the summer months.

READ MORE: 20 best gardening gifts under £35

Multi-purpose gloves – Gardening GlovesGauntlet Glovesgardentrading.co.uk£20.00SHOP NOW

These soft grey suede gloves are great for tasks around the house and garden. Sold in one size, they aim to protect your hands no matter what job you take on.

Microfibre gloves – Gardening GlovesMicrofibre Gardening Glove - Mediumprimrose.co.uk£15.99SHOP NOW

With a microfibre and polyester mix fabric, these green gardening gloves will allow you to weed, prune and plant with ease. As well as being easy to clean, they also have an adjustable velcro strap, too.

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These 100 per cent cotton canvas gardening gloves — featuring Orla Kiely's famous print — are fully lined with elasticated wrists. It's great if you're on the hunt for a stylish option.

Best water-resistant gloves – Gardening Gloves Showa water repellent gardening gloves 306crocus.co.uk£12.99SHOP NOW

Gardening on a rainy day? Well, add these affordable water repellent gloves to the top of your wish list. Fully coated with latex, they offer a powerful grip in both wet and dry conditions.

Large gardening gloves – Gardening Gloves Gardening Gloves, Green, LargeRoyal Botanic Gardens£12.99SHOP NOW

Used and recommended by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, these large gardening gloves have leather palms and durable elastane backs that give a little stretch. Perfect for those hands-on tasks in the garden.

Affordable gardening gloves – Gardening Gloves Briers Rigger Gloves – Twin Packrobertdyas.co.uk£7.49SHOP NOW

Keep your hands safe from scrapes and cuts in the garden with these large gloves. Made from leather, cotton and polyester, they are great for heavy-duty tasks.

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In a soft beige hue, these everyday gardening gloves have been made from a soft, stretch fabric to provide complete comfort. As well as this, the palms and fingers are covered with silicone dots to give you a sure-handed grip.

Denim gloves – Gardening Gloves Denim Gardening Glove with Gauntlet Cuff primrose.co.uk£23.99SHOP NOW

Stylish and practical, these denim gardening gloves protect against sharp thorns, needles, briars and insect bites.

Thorn proof– Gardening Gloves Leather Gardening Gloves Thorn Proof Garden work gloves Westwood Fox£9.99SHOP NOW

Designed to protect hands against thorns, these leather gardening gloves feature an adjustable rip-tape strap for comfort and a more generous fit. We love the added pop of blue.

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Part of the RHS Flora & Fauna collection, these vibrant bird-printed gloves are great for pulling out tough weeds. They have been made with a soft hardwearing fabric to help you as you get your garden in shape.

Professional gardening gloves - Gardening Gloves Professional Garden GlovesRobert Dyas£9.99SHOP NOW

Designed to last, these professional garden gloves offer comfort, durability and protection. They also have an extra palm and finger protection, to keep you safe when pruning plants.

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Looking for a professional pair of gardening gloves to help with heavy-duty jobs? Then this pair is just for you. Designed for harsh application and rough materials, you can be sure that these gloves will protect your hands outdoors.

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