With the New Year well underway, you might be looking for fun and innovative ways to improve your health and keep fit. While the gym might not be to your fancy, there are other ways to get the heart racing such as pulling on a pair of wellies, ordering a range of seeds and bulbs from the likes of Ashridge Nurseries and heading out into the fresh air for a spot of preening and pruning.

Gardening is undeniably good for you, so here are five reasons it’ll improve your health:

1. Gardening burns a surprising number of calories

According to research by NetVoucherCodes.co.uk, three hours of gardening can have the same effect as an intense hour-long gym session. That’s right; a poll revealed the typical gardener spends around five hours a week tending to their plot, burning up to 722 calories. This, of course, makes gardening a great way to shift the pounds and you don’t even have to wear Lycra!

2. Keeping active will help you reach a healthy BMI

These days, there’s a great focus on staying fit and not being overweight with many health professionals working out your Body Mass Index (BMI) to decipher if you’re a healthy weight for your height. A normal BMI is thought to be anywhere from 18.5 – 24.9 and by losing kilos through activities such as gardening your BMI will come down.
Not sure what your BMI is currently? Then check out this handy BMI calculator.

3. Gardening can lower your blood pressure

It’s thought that just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity a few times a week can help prevent and control high blood pressure, so it’s well worth raking the leaves and doing a spot of weeding. Even if you’re already on medication for blood pressure, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t start off slowly and gradually increase your gardening hours to see if it makes a difference.

4. Gardening is good for your mental health

It’s normal to have worries in life, but if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about something, a spot of gardening could help calm you down. It’s wonderfully therapeutic and will take your mind off those niggling issues that can lead to stress. While planning a vegetable patch might take a little brain power, it’s also good to do monotonous tasks such as pruning as these are simple, easy and hassle-free.

5. Gardening can improve your wellbeing

With so much to do on a daily basis, it can be easy to go from pillar to post without really feeling like you’ve achieved anything. This can have a negative effect on your wellbeing, so why not stop for a minute and do something you really enjoy? Gardening is the perfect activity for those who like to see the fruits of their labour and if you put the effort in you will certainly reap the rewards.
So there you have it – five reasons why it’s a good idea to pull on a rain coat and get your garden in tip-top condition for the summer months and beyond.