How Gardening Can Increase Your Life Expectancy

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According to a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, having a potter around the garden can cut your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

The study, which was carried out on 4,232 people in Sweden, suggests that simply getting out into the garden is linked to a longer life expectancy in the over 60s. Exercise can be difficult for the older generation, but this study suggests that leisurely tasks like gardening can still provide all the great benefits of an active lifestyle.

The study found that “A generally active daily life had important beneficial associations with cardiovascular health and longevity in older adults, which seemed to be regardless of regular exercise”.

Those who composed the study compared people who spend their days sitting on the sofa with those who are more active; this includes mowing the lawn, fruit picking and DIY around the house. The results indicate that even those who were mildly active still had their risk of a stroke or heart attack cut by 27% – not an insignificant figure.

Scientists running the study say that lounging around for long periods of time can negatively affect the metabolic rate, leading to adverse effects on overall health; this can include high blood pressure and blood fats.

The study’s findings prove that keeping fit and healthy is the key to living a longer life. Older people don’t need to resign themselves to a life of laziness; gardening and various household chores can be just as effective as going for a jog. Plus gardening is probably much more enjoyable!

A Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation stated: “As long as they make you feel warmer, breathe harder and make your heart beat faster, activities such as DIY and gardening count towards the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity [weekly] activity recommended for a healthy lifestyle.”

Not only does gardening reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, it can also improve coordination, suppleness and balance. Pottering around in the garden is also a fantastic way to get some fresh air and keep you busy. So no more excuses, get out there are start your journey towards a healthier, longer life.

Header image courtesy of pixabay.com

Source: Fix.com Blog

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