Thursday, 19 May 2016

Dig out your wellies: how gardening improves your health

Now that summer's here, more and more people will be grabbing their wellies to head into the great outdoors.

Gardening is great for your health because it gets you outside, moving around and in the fresh air, and brings joy when you watch your plants grow. As a result, gardening has been proven to be very beneficial for your health.

How gardening improves health

Gardening reduces stress, increases alertness and even lowers your risk of developing serious diseases like coronary disease and colon cancer.

Loneliness is very high in modern urban inhabitants and this also has an impact on health. The added social element of gardening, providing the opportunity to meet new friends, is also essential to wellbeing because it improves our resistance to disease.

Finding a garden in London

Gardening is also a low-cost activity that families can enjoy together, or you can attend solo to make new friends. It has pretty much no barriers to entry – apart from actually finding a garden!

It can be tough to find green spaces in the inner city, and most people won’t have a garden of their own – unless they are very rich! However, there are many urban gardening initiatives that welcome people to participate.

Visit for a list of London-based city farms and community gardens that you can visit and get involved!

Where your food comes from

Getting city dwellers outside and interacting with the earth is so important. It’s especially for children to help them understand where there food comes from, because better education leads to increased healthiness.

Obesity and obesity-related diseases are affecting the health of children in London and across the country. Moderate intensity exercise like gardening is the perfect way to tackle this rising problem.

Indoor gardens

If one of the city’s gardening initiatives isn’t for you, perhaps there’s a sunny window ledge in your home crying out for some plants. Growing herbs and spices indoors is very popular right now, or even lettuces and chillies, and this also has many of the benefits of gardening.

Growing and cooking with your own ingredients is fabulous for health and wellbeing, and saves money too! Plants in the home increase happiness and improve the overall environment. Your friends and family may also appreciate being given your homegrown produce for their own cooking.

The Mini Cooking Club runs regular cooking sessions for children aged between 7-11 including a class devoted to gardening and cooking. Head over to our website to find out more and sign up. 

Image: Benjamin Combs, Unsplash

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