Whether you are a home gardener, a community gardener or a visitor, a garden can be a source of exercise, stimulation and relaxation.
Most people enjoy being outdoors and digging in the soil, creating and watching plants grow. People with disabilities, people who are unwell, older people and children can find it especially rewarding to spend time in the garden tending plants and growing their own food.
Working in the garden provides benefits that include:
With a little planning, garden beds, equipment and tools can be modified to make gardening accessible for children, older people and people with disabilities.
Getting involved in gardening can be as simple as:
Most people can benefit from creating a garden – it is an enjoyable form of activity, maintains mobility and flexibility, and encourages use of all motor skills through walking, reaching, bending, digging, planting seeds and taking cuttings.
Gardening improves endurance and strength, reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation. It can also provide stimulation and interest in the outdoors. Just being in the garden can create a sense of well-being.
Whatever your age or level of ability, you can enjoy gardening, have fun and develop new skills, including:
By gardening as a family, adults can share their skills and knowledge with children, and family members can learn together. This creates a fun and nurturing environment for everyone, as well as being a source of healthy physical activity.
Children love to grow interesting plants such as sunflowers, tomatoes, strawberries and corn. For younger children, their first activities in the garden may be digging in the dirt and playing with mud. As well as the gardening you do as a family, create a space in the garden that belongs to your children.
Working in a community garden can give you a sense of belonging. The benefits of community gardens include:
Gardening is good for your mental health. Simply being in a garden can lift your spirits, particularly if you spend a lot of time indoors.
Gardening with others in a community garden can give you a sense of purpose and drive to achieve an end goal. It also provides a sense of belonging and acceptance for those who may otherwise feel isolated.
Gardening can help with depression in several ways, including:
Visiting a garden can give you a great sense of well-being. It can relax your mind and help reduce stress levels.
Walking around a garden or park will help keep you fit, which can improve your enjoyment of life. Take a friend or visit with your family to make it a social activity.
originally published on https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/gardens-for-all-a-health-activity