The Benefits of Growing
Health for your Head, Hands, Heart and so much more...
It is no coincidence that gardens aimed at health and wellbeing are found in hospitals, nursing homes, community centres and prisons. Whether your garden is a small patio with planters, a well hoed vegetable patch at the bottom of your garden or a plot at a local allotment, the sense of well-being that comes from digging, weeding, pruning, nurturing and harvesting not only benefits a sense of well-being but also the head, hands, heart and much much more.
Stress relief and Well being
Studies have shown gardening to be a more effective pastime for relieving tension than reading a book indoors, with benefits to self esteem from nurturing a plant from sowing to harvesting. Allotments offer a shared experience and exchange of knowledge, a chance to interact if desired.
Heart Health and Stroke Risk
It is well publicised that too much sitting is dangerous for our health. A study showed that regular gardening cuts the risk of heart attacks and stroke by 30% for those over 60. Exposure to sunlight, just 10 minutes at midday, provides enough Vitamin D to reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoperosis and various cancers. Those with the lowest Vitamin D levels may be doubling their risk of dying of heart disease and other causes: and in most cases, too much time spent indoors is to blame. Try for 30 minutes of gardening a day: if your schedule won’t let you fit in half an hour at a stretch, split the time between the beginning and end of the day. Short bursts of activity are good for us.
Hand strength and dexterity
Gardening keeps the hand muscles agile, something that diminishes as we age which can limit leisure activities. Using your non-dominant hand whilst gardening is just one exercise to sharpen your brain function.
Brain Health and Alzheimers Risk
In one long term study of 3000 participants, researchers found that daily gardening represented the single biggest risk reduction for dementia, reducing incidence by 36%.
Depression and mental health
The growing field of 'horticultural therapy' is giving proven results for patients with depression and other mental illnesses. The benefits appear to spring from a combination of physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and the satisfaction of the work.
Sugden Road Allotments is a thriving community of all sorts of folk, some who know what they are doing and some who don't... All ages, all backgrounds. Whether you want to garden for peace and quiet or for a sense of belonging and community, you'll find it at Sugden Road. The very friendly committee, with help from the Long Ditton Village Hall have cleared a communal area, with seating, to help foster more seasonal social gatherings and regular working parties for members. The plot fees are set to make it accessible to all.
Interested in taking on an allotment?
Visit our 'Contact us' page for more details.