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Health & Fitness Gardening is just as good for the soul as these two trusted de-stressing methods

14:40  26 april  2021
14:40  26 april  2021 Source:   countryliving.com

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A daily dose of gardening can boost the soul as much as cycling or running, new groundbreaking research by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has found.

To celebrate National Gardening Week (Monday 26th April - Sunday 2nd May), the charity found that those who regularly gardened felt less depressed (13%), had boosted energy levels (12%) and were less stressed overall (16%). Whether you live in an urban area or in the rolling countryside, this research confirms just how powerful nature really is.

The study, which was published in the journal Cities, surveyed more than 6,000 people around the UK. Conducted in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the University of Virginia, their findings discovered that those who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than people who don't garden at all.

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a close up of a flower garden: gettyimages-1186350697 © Carol Yepes - Getty Images gettyimages-1186350697

"This is the first time the 'dose response' to gardening has been tested and the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the more frequently you garden – the greater the health benefits," Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, RHS Wellbeing Fellow and lead author, says.

"In fact gardening every day has the same positive impact on wellbeing than undertaking regular, vigorous exercise like cycling or running. When gardening, our brains are pleasantly distracted by nature around us. This shifts our focus away from ourselves and our stresses, thereby restoring our minds and reducing negative feelings."

a close up of a flower pot: gettyimages-678102374 © AlexRaths - Getty Images gettyimages-678102374

Co-author, Dr Ross Cameron of the University of Sheffield, adds: "This research provides further empirical data to support the value of gardening and gardens for mental restoration and 'promoting a calmness of mind'. We also found a greater proportion of plants in the garden was linked with greater wellbeing, suggesting even just viewing 'green' gardens may help."

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Elsewhere in the study, they also found that some participants burnt the same amount of calories from 30 minutes of gardening as they would from playing a social game badminton, volleyball or practicing yoga.

Why not slip on your gardening gloves and get growing this summer?

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