Are you looking for a new hobby? Would you like to spend more time looking after yourself and your health? Gardening is a great option, and it offers many health and wellbeing benefits.

You don’t need to be a green thumb to enjoy gardening. Even if you don’t have much knowledge about gardening or haven’t managed to keep plants alive in the past, you can still get something out of it.

Feel better
Research has shown that gardening can reduce anxiety and depression and improve mood. When you’re gardening, you become more present as you’re focusing on what you’re doing in the moment. It helps to take your mind off things, especially what’s making you stressed, which can make you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Vitamin D
Doing gardening outside can increase your exposure to sunlight and vitamin D. This will raise your calcium levels, which will help to boost your immune system and keep your bones strong.

Stay active
Gardening can be a great form of exercise. Gentler movements, such as bending down, and reaching, can increase strength and flexibility. More vigorous movements, such as digging and weeding, can get your heart rate up. You can also strengthen your hands and fingers when planting, using secateurs and pulling out weeds.

Empowerment and accomplishment
When you start gardening, you may feel empowered – you get to decide what to plant and take responsibility for nurturing and caring for it. You can also get a sense of accomplishment as you complete the tasks required to care for your plants and as you see progress such as the plants growing, blooming or producing food.

Grow your own food
Growing fruits, vegetables and herbs in your own garden can encourage you to eat healthier and allow you to have variety. You’ll have fresh, quality produce that you can eat immediately or include in your cooking. It can also help you live a more natural lifestyle as you can eat food that hasn’t been exposed to the chemicals which are typically in pesticides and fertilisers used by commercial growers.

Gardening isn’t all about what you grow. It can help you to live a healthier life, relax and care for yourself. Give it a go!

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