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Why gardening is great for body and mind

Spending time at home during lockdown can open your mind to all sorts of creative tasks. With a little bit of thought and some clever ideas, everyone can grow their own plants or vegetables, even if its on your windowsill or doorstep.

We know the importance of beautiful outside spaces here at Platinum Skies and believe they don’t need to be something you give up when moving to a retirement property. That’s why we’ve specifically designed beautiful gardens surrounding our Vista, Chapters and Monterey retirement living sites.

So how can more of us tune into the benefits of horticulture? We reveal some of the wellbeing benefits of gardening below.

Benefits for the mind and body

It’s great for mindfulness

Take time to stop and appreciate life (Thinkstock/PA)

When in a garden or gardening, we are encouraged to live in the moment, be more mindful of ourselves and our surroundings. Our breathing slows down (unless we are digging), our shoulders drop, and in no time at all the activity of gardening has been used as a stress reliever and stress releaser.

Gardening helps you keep fit

Gardening is a great way to keep fit, using muscles in our hands, arms, back, stomach and legs, without even knowing that we are doing it!

It keeps your brain healthy

Gardening keeps your brain healthy (Thinkstock/PA)

From the first moment of thinking about what to do in the garden, whether it be passive (sitting and enjoying) or active (physically gardening), we are improving our brain health.

Neurons in the brain are sparked, whatever you’re doing garden-wise, whether choosing seeds, border planning or actively planting. Relax your mind by creating a seating area, preferably in the shade, listening to birdsong.

You can grow your own healing herb garden

Herbs have great healing properties (Thinkstock/PA)

Peppermint is great for helping with bloating and indigestion, dandelion is packed with vitamins and minerals and helps cleanse the liver, and rosemary or sage contain flavonoids that help prevent cancer and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Even contact with soil could be a health-booster

Contact with soil helps build the immune system (Thinkstock/PA)

There’s a harmless bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, normally found in dirt, which stimulates the immune system and has also been found to boost the production of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, so physical contact with soil may help elevate our mood.

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