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Can gardening fight cancer?11 September 2011
GARDENING CAN help cancer patients recover from their illness – and may even prevent the disease from coming back.
Being active in the garden provides physical exercise that’s important to the recovery and long-term health of 1.6million cancer survivors, claims Macmillan Cancer Support.
Macmillan has launched a campaign called Move More, which is being backed by the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), the group that co-ordinates the opening of 3,700 private gardens for charity in the UK. To support Move More, the NGS has published on the internet tips to promote gardening for health, sourced from NGS garden owners.
NGS chief executive George Plumptre said: “We can demonstrate, from first-hand experience, the enormous health benefits that come with a little regular gardening, or just being in a garden. “Gardening gives your life a daily sense of purpose which is vital to those trying to recover from serious illness,” George added.
Joe Swift, NGS president and Gardeners’ World presenter, backed the campaign: “I really believe in the positive health benefits that even a short length of time gardening can bring you,” Joe said. "It is the first time the NGS has lent its expertise to a major healthcare campaign by a beneficiary. To date, the NGS has raised over £13million for the Macmillan charity.
• Read NGS garden owners’ expert tips here
Why is gardening good for your health?
• Digging and mowing can require the same energy levels as walking, cycling and swimming
• Carrying watering cans, pushing wheelbarrows and lifting pots can strengthen muscles and bones. It’s good for blood flow, too
• Weeding, planting and pruning is good for stretching and flexibility
• Gardening helps hand-eye co-ordination, improving motor skills and movement