The Royal Horticultural Society is encouraging the nation to celebrate the feel-good power of gardens by getting a daily dose of 'Vitamin G'. How? By taking a few minutes each day to connect with nature.
Gardeners have long touted the health benefits of this horticultural pastime, and a raft of new research has shown the tangible difference that plants and gardens can make to our mental and physical health.
An RHS study,in collaboration with the University of Sheffield published last year, showed that adding plants to a paved front garden could reduce stress levels as much as eight weekly mindfulness sessions. Meanwhile, recent Harvard research showed that 30 minutes of gardening can burn as many calories as playing badminton or practising yoga.
"Vitamin G is 'green', and research has shown that getting a daily dose improves our sense of personal wellbeing," explains RHS Director of Science, Professor Alistair Griffiths. "Aim to bring green into your daily life as much as possible for maximum benefits. There are dozens of ways to connect with nature, and you don’t even need to have your own garden to get your Vitamin G."
The RHS is celebrating the feel-good power of gardens for National Gardening Week, 26th April – 2nd May 2021. Throughout the week, the RHS will post inspirational ideas on its social media channels to show how easy it is to get a dose of Vitamin G.
5 ways to get your dose of Vitamin G, according to the RHS:
1. Take a mindful moment in your garden or local green space: pause for a minute to appreciate the new green leaves, listen for birdsong or enjoy the scents of spring blooms to refresh your mind and senses.
2. Bring the outside in: if you're working from home, add a green, leafy houseplant to your desk or near your work area – studies show this can reduce stress, increase productivity and attention span and improve reaction speed!
3. Pep up your plate: have a go at growing some quick herbs, salad leaves, or microgreens on a windowsill, which can be ready to harvest in just a few weeks to add a burst of green goodness and home-grown flavour to your meals.
4. Plant up a container to make you smile: choose a combination of colourful or scented flowers, tactile grasses and lush foliage to create a cheerful spring display to greet you whenever you leave or return home.
5. Green up your everyday: think about how you can connect with nature in your day-to-day activities – could you walk or cycle through the park on the way to the shops, have lunch alfresco or do a workout in the garden?
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