Get The Gardening Glow

 

With almost 67 per cent of Australians living in our capital cities, we’re one of the most highly urbanised countries in the world. Considering the day-to-day stresses or urban living, traffic, overcrowding and simply not enough time – this means up to 16 million of us could benefit from the physical and mental advantages provided by gardening.

Whether it’s a sprawling veggie patch in the backyard, a flowerbed in a small courtyard, a window box or even a community garden space, almost anyone can achieve a gardening glow. 

Gardening is a great workout, It not only works all those major muscle groups, it burns calories as well. Also, gardening improves the mood almost instantly, so it’s fantastic for the soul.

The Fitness Factor

Forget about working hard in the gym or building up a sweat on the treadmill, gardening is just as good as a workout, if not better. Prolonged light exercise such as gardening can burn more calories than a gym session, despite being much easier to do.

Stress Relief

Gardening can increase life satisfaction, reduce and promote recovery from stress, enhance self-esteem and reduce feelings of depression and fatigue. Ask any gardener and almost all will insist that they feel better after getting their hands dirty in the soil. An activity like gardening gives you something to celebrate and care about. When you’ve tended and grown something it gives you a sense of purpose and pride, which in turn make you feel good about yourself.

Mood Enchasing

Having flowers in and around your home not only looks beautiful, they also have amazing health benefits, such as reducing stress and depression. Flowers increase positive energies and soothe and relax the soul. Plants in the home also increase energy levels and vitality. 

Immunity Boost

We often avoid getting our hands dirty but there are health benefits to be gained from exposure to soil. We need to be 100 per cent hygienic but we don’t need to be 100 per cent dirt or germ-free because our immune system needs something to spar with.

Air Quality

Plants have been shown to absorb and degrade all types of urban air pollutants, thereby reducing air pollutants, thereby reducing air pollution levels. We have a vital need for constant connections with plants for cleaner air, so gardening time is vital. Spending just 15 to 20 minutes each day in the garden can also improve sleep quality because breathing fresh air stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system in the brain, which is responsible for relaxation.

 

Changing The Way We Breath

 

The move to city-living has given us great benefits, but at some costs to our health and wellbeing. Urban air pollution is a growing health concern, as is indoor air quality. Since we are indoors 90% of the time, we are constantly breathing contaminated air, which is generally more polluted inside than outdoors. The journey for good health has thus, unavoidably added the pursuit for a healthy built environment, and especially a healthy ‘indoor living environment’. However, relatively few know of the role Plants can play inimprovements to people’s lives both outside and inside the home.

Plants, including ‘indoor’ species, have been shown to absorb and degrade all types of urban air pollutants, thereby reducing air pollution levels. Conflicting to what many people assume, urban indoor air is generally more polluted than outdoors, even in the city centre. Sources of pollutants include components of furniture, fabrics, fittings, paints, glues and varnishes, computers, printers, solvents, detergents, shampoos, cosmetics, etc. Basically large and important aspects of our indoor lives are potentially subjecting our health to unknown risks. Although great efforts are being made to finish and fit out new buildings with low-volatile organic compound materials, it is impossible to remove it altogether.

Indoor plants are already coming to be recognised as a vital element in enabling sustainable urban communities. It’s expected that, along with lighting, air-con, plumbing, etc., interior foliage plants will be utilised as a convenient, natural, beautiful, useful, effective and relatively low-cost, standard method to improve and transform our indoor living environments. Our ancestors also recognised an essential role for plants in providing pleasure, perfumes, peace and glimpses of ‘paradise’. We still have the same requirements today. As City-dwellers, we lack the continuing emotional and physical links with nature similar to that from which we have evolved.

We are now taking steps to combat this environmental detachment, from open green pockets of parks and gardens to pot-planted forecourts and building entrances, office staff, residents and visitors in our CBD’s and built environments are being provided with the natural oases of yesteryear. So, not only do plants absorb air pollution, they also offer coolness, shade and time enjoyed in an environment capable of reducing stress and anxiety, such an important quality now in an otherwise pressured filled life for most.

We have vital need for constant connections with plants – for cleaner air, calmer spirit, lighter mood, improved concentration and performance, and productivity. One way of maintaining that people-plant linkage is by the use of interior foliage plants as a standard part of our indoor spaces. This can only result in a win-win situation – so let’s all start greening the great indoors by adding some nature to our homes and offices.