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Monty Don: Gardeners’ World host has many reasons to be cheerful – green space benefits

Gardeners' World: Monty Don advises on reviving herbs

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The cheerful presenter has been hosting BBC’s Gardeners’ World for nearly two decades, and with that, he’s sure to have reaped amazing health benefits – if The King’s Fund report is anything to go by. Increased exposure to green spaces has been linked to long-term reductions in heart disease, cancer, and musculoskeletal conditions. Spending time outdoors in nature has also been associated with reduced levels of obesity and higher self-rated mental health.

“Living in areas with green spaces also seems to weaken the effect of income inequalities on health,” The King’s Fund report said.

Studies have reportedly shown that allotment gardening has been found to improve mood, self-esteem, and lower stress levels.

Gardening has also been linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety, and it may help alleviate feelings of loneliness.

Emerging evidence suggests that gardening might also help older adults maintain good gait and balance, which decreases the likelihood of falls.

Furthermore, the report stated that tinkering in the garden could play a role in dementia prevention and decrease cognitive decline.

For people who already have dementia, exposure to gardens tends to reduce agitation and aggression.

The Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) pointed out that 30 minutes of gardening can equate to the same amount of calories burned in a game of badminton.

Thus, gardening is a great way to keep fit and healthy both mentally and physically.

Extensive research citing the health benefits of gardening has made its way into the medical world.

Many GPs now prescribe gardening as a preventative mechanism for many health conditions.

The RHS noted that 13 GPs have opened community gardens with positive effects in Lambeth, London.

Community gardening groups include Britain in Bloom and It’s Your Neighbourhood.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) added that gardening can boost a person’s exposure to vitamin D.

Ten minutes in the sunshine is more than enough to get the vitamin D levels you need.

Any skin exposed to the sun for more than 10 minutes would benefit from sunscreen or clothing.

This is to minimise the risk of skin cancer, which is a direct result of the sun.

It’s also wise to take care of your posture while gardening, as it can lead to achy muscles.

Cushioning knee pads, taking frequent breaks, and using specialised tools are recommended by Spine Health.

“Don’t forget Gardeners’ World tonight at 9pm back at Longmeadow,” Tweeted Monty.

Watch Monty Don on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World on Friday, May 14 at 9pm.

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