Tag Archives: health benefits

National Gardening Exercise Day

We discovered that in America there is a National Gardening Exercise Day!

We love anything with the word Gardening in it and we know that ‘Gardening is Good For’ You so we are spreading the word. Depending on how much ‘oomph’ you give it, gardening can give you a really good work out, building muscles, burning calories as well as giving you therapeutic benefits of working outdoors.  If you are going for a big session, remember to stretch your muscles first.

Gardening activities that are fantastic for working your muscles and for burning calories include hand weeding, digging, planting, pruning, hoeing, mowing (with a push mower) and raking.

As you are moving around your garden and bending up and down you will be doing a lot with your body, increasing your heart rate. You’ll also find that gardening can be a great stress buster too, take all your frustrations out on a few weeds and enjoy the sound of birdsong and relaxing fragrance from your plants.

  • To get the most out of your gardening workout we suggest you
  • 1. Warm up (stretch and then start slowly)
  • 2. Try to use your hands equally for example when raking of shoveling switch your hands on the handles and the side you are working on every 10 minutes.
  • 3. While you garden take deep steady breaths
  • 4. When you lift things bend your knees and tuck the load in close to your hips. Lift with your legs not your back.
  • 5. Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • 6. Enjoy yourself and do a few more stretches at the end.
  • 7. Sit and relax in your garden

So what are you waiting for? Plant some plants, pull those weeds and start gardening today.

#GardeningExerciseDay #GIGFY

Young houseplants

Healthy Houseplants

Healthy Houseplants

Houseplants are attractive and a great way to bring some interest to a possibly dull area. Yet they have also been proven to have numerous physical and mental benefits.

Visual Attraction

WHite orchid makes a great indoor plant, especially good for a bedroom plant to help with sleep.

A White Orchid is easy to care for and a beautiful houseplant. Also known to help with sleep.

On a visual level, we are relaxed by seeing greenery which will in turn help with optimism and reducing stress. Caring for plants can reduce loneliness and also bring about positivity. As well as mood boosting, having the plants around us is suggested to aid productivity and concentration – making them great for an office environment.

Reducing harmful VOCs

Whilst we may try our hardest to keep our living spaces clean and tidy, air quality may slip our attention. Unfortunately indoor environments can sometimes be between 5 and 10 times more polluted than outdoor environments. A build up of things known as ‘volatile organic compounds’ or VOCs  can cause this. VOCs are released by regular household items such as appliances, paints, detergents  and furniture. Science closely associates polluted air with headaches, sore and itchy eyes, dry skin and even fatigue and nausea. Plants can clean the air of these compounds by removing them- the importance of this is much more prominent in winter when we keep our windows closed and have a lot less air circulation.

Furthermore, plants take control of the humidity in a room which is an important factor in preventing the spread of viral infections, yet one that we struggle to control.

Photosynthesis; providing us with oxygen

As plants carry out the opposite process to our respiration; known as photosynthesis, they take in the carbon dioxide that we breathe out and provide oxygen for us to breathe in. This is a great benefit of plants.

Our recommended plants 

  • The mother in law's tongue/ spiderplant is known to be a good houseplant for the bedroom as it releases oxygen overnight.

    Sansevieria Mother In Law’s Tongue, photosynthesises overnight releasing oxygen to help sleep.

    – An orchid in the bedroom is a brilliant plant to aid sleep. Orchids photosynthesise and release oxygen overnight to help breathing, health and create a peaceful sleeping environment.

  • –  Mother in Law’s Tongue/ Snake plant is widely known for its capacity to improve air quality. 
  • – Lavender whilst traditionally grown outdoors, could be grown on a bedroom windowsill as its soothing and calming smell that promotes sleep.

Ideas for indoor plants

Something easy to start with…

Succulents make great houseplants as they are so easy to care for.

An alpine succulent- easy to grow and a trendy, attractive plant.

Maybe try a succulent if this is your first time keeping a plant indoors. We have a huge range in our alpine section of both of our centres. Start with a house leek (sempervivum) or another succulent from our alpine range, only £2.oo each or 3 for £5.oo.

Cacti are also very low maintenance and thrive in a windowsill with sunlight. Take care not to overwater them, the most effective ways are either misting them regularly or feeding them from beneath with a saucer under the plant.

Give it a go-  put a plant in your work area, try putting a trailing plant over a shelf, filling an empty space or corner with a tall pot plant or even planting some smaller plants in teacups. Plants bring so much interest to a room and once you start seeing the benefits of a few plants we are sure you will grow to love indoor plants!

We have a range of houseplants in both of our stores and knowledgeable staff who would be happy to give advice on which to choose and how to care for them!