Those of us who spend time in the garden have often pondered on how much better it makes you feel. The fresh air, the exercise, not to mention the boost to how you feel as the garden begins to bloom and grow. Yet those benefits we feel aren't imaginary.
A feature in The Telegraph this week pointed out exactly what we've felt; gardening is good for you. First, you get the benefits of that injection of Vitamin D. It's called a "sunny shot" for a reason; you get it from sunlight but also it helps to put you in a brighter mood. Not only that but being able to enjoy the outdoors when you've spent all week in an office is important, even if your garden is a balcony in the middle of the city!
The fitness benefits you get from gardening are also important. Think about how much lifting, carrying, stretching you do in one afternoon in the garden. Did you know some intense digging can burn up to 600 calories? That's as much as a run! If that sounds a lot like hard work, then don't worry. You can still reap the benefits just by spending an hour or two each week.
Trimming plants, turning over soil, weeding or just brushing and tidying can benefit the overall appearance of a garden space and help you spend some precious hours outside. A garden doesn't have to be big for you to benefit, either. OK if it is a balcony or courtyard you're unlikely to be hauling major paving slabs around but what about a pallet for you to hang herb baskets in? How about a climbing rose which needs regular weeding and trimming to keep it healthy?
Tidying away rubbish and lifting rubbish bags away; it's all good for you and your fitness levels. Even if you just grow plants in pots and containers they still need to be weeded and tidied. You could probably count carrying a watering can around each evening in the summer months as a good excuse for an upper arm workout!
We know that gardening is a hobby loved by millions and it's a chance for us to duck out of our work lives and spend some time in the great outdoors, no matter how small space we're nurturing. Now we have proof: Gardening really is good for you!