Healthy Tip: Green fingers and healthy hearts

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Floral Bloom

The Royal Horticultural Society’s National Gardening Week runs from 10-16 April. This annual event, has grown into the country’s biggest celebration of gardening.  This year focuses on helping new gardeners to get digging, planting and growing, which in turn will help you to keep your heart blossoming too.

Whether you’ve got a few pots or an allotment, it’s easy to go from being a couch potato to a growing pro and putting your health first, with your own harvest of colour and edible goodness.

Gardening is a great way to stay active, tone up your muscles and keep stress at bay while soaking up the sun for a boost of vitamin D.  So shake the dust off your spade and get ready to dig for your heart.

Reap the rewards

  • Exercise and sunlight both trigger mood-enhancing hormones helping you deal better with the stresses in life, not to mention the joy you’ll get from fruits of your labour.
  • Digging, raking, weeding and mowing the lawn all make your heart work harder to help keep it strong and healthy.  Think of the reward at the end of the long slog even if it’s only preparing the groundwork.
  • Growing your own doesn’t cost the earth. A packet of herb or vegetable seeds for less than £1 can provide for your family for weeks or even months making it much cheaper than buying produce from the supermarket.  Choose varieties wisely to maximise your yields and keep you supplied with vitamin and mineral rich produce all throughout the summer months. 
  • Maximise your space by planting pots on your patio or herbs on your kitchen window sill and discover how easy it can be to grow your own herbs, fruit and veg even when space is tight.
  • Think inside the box by growing oranges, figs and tomatoes indoors or in a greenhouse. A sunny spot like a conservatory or bright window sill will maximise light and warmth to bring those Mediterranean scents and flavours into your home. 
  • Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables are full of flavour and packed with goodness. Get the whole family involved in planting, picking and preparing to enjoy the food journey from ground to plate and encourage children to enjoy the wonder of home grown food.
  • Don’t forget to allocate some time to tend to the glorious display of stunning flower beds, patio pots, and window boxes and reap the visual beauty within your own English country garden.

If you’re a budding beginner or a garden guru, it’s surprisingly easy to spruce up your growing space and turn your efforts into delicious heart healthy produce. 

Whatever type of gardening you enjoy, make sure it features as part of your week’s regular activity.  You may get blooming hooked and take gardening to show-stopping new heights.