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Gardening: healthy for body and mind.

Just like me, many people enjoy gardening as a hobby because it helps them relax. In other words: enjoying hands-on work in a green environment and forgetting about everything else. But why is gardening healthy for your mind as well as your body?

The effect of plants

Professor Roger Ulrich of the University of Texas conducted a test. He had a group of people take a test that resulted in stress. The test subjects who were taken to a location with trees after the test recovered more quickly from their high blood pressure levels and heart rates than the subjects who were taken to a location without plants. Another test showed that patients recover better after an operation if their room looks out over trees. These patients recover faster, go home sooner, require fewer analgesics, and complain less. Wow! Simply being surrounded by plants has a fantastic effect!

Gardening: good for burning those calories

The nice thing about gardening is that you usually do it for pleasure: wearing comfortable old clothes, rooting around in the soil, and feeling the sun on your face. And the result is a beautiful, colourful, delightfully scented garden. But you also get a nicely toned body! After all, planting, sowing and pruning all those flowers, plants and trees burns off 350 calories an hour. Spading and raking burn more calories than cycling. After a busy stressful day, it's a real relief to come home and enjoy rummaging around a little in your garden. Luckily, it's not an expensive hobby as long as you limit your purchases of exotic plants and gardening gear.

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A slender autumn with flower bulbs

I'm really glad that the planting season for flower bulbs is coming up. That means that I'll start the autumn with a slender body. I'll emerge from the winter with a round belly, enjoying the first little flowers in the garden...and waiting for the time when I can really plunge into the gardening season and become slender again.

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