People of any age can, and do, find fulfillment working in a garden. For many, there’s nothing they’d rather be doing than digging in the dirt and tending to plants. Those who garden may do so for the pure enjoyment of it. Enjoyment aside, however, indulging your green thumb is actually really good for you! Gardening is an especially healthy activity for seniors. The many benefits of gardening for seniors may surprise you.
Better Physical Health
Gardening is a great way to get some exercise. It’s also fairly low impact, making it a good choice for many older people who are looking to stay active. And, like any form of exercise, seniors who spend time gardening will enjoy many physical benefits.
Gardening can improve mobility and flexibility. It also increases strength and endurance and can help to maintain motor skills. In addition, gardening promotes bone health, making it an excellent activity for those who have, or are at risk for, osteoporosis. Spending time outside leads to higher levels of vitamin D, an important nutrient that contributes to bone health and many other important body functions.
For those who choose to raise vegetables, gardening comes with an added health bonus — fresh produce! Enjoying the fruits of their labor encourages a healthier diet, at least during harvest time.
Better Mental Health
The benefits of gardening don’t end with physical health. Gardening also promotes mental and emotional well-being.
Spending time in the garden is an excellent stress reliever. It relaxes you and can even lower your risk of depression!
It can also encourage social connections. Joining a local garden club is an excellent way to stay connected. Even something as simple as working in the garden with a friend or neighbor can help to ward off feelings of loneliness.
Keeping Safe and Comfortable in the Garden
There’s no question that many of the activities associated with gardening, like bending, kneeling, and squatting, become more difficult with age. There are many ways to deal with these challenges and continue to enjoy the benefits of gardening well into the golden years.
Many seniors lessen the need to bend over by planting in raised beds or containers. Another option is to invest in long-handled tools that can be used from a standing position. For those times when it’s absolutely necessary to work at ground level, a stable, comfortable stool can make the task possible without resulting in sore muscles. It can also be helpful to vary gardening activities from one day to the next to avoid overworking specific muscle groups.
Seniors are also more prone to problems resulting from exposure to the elements, such as sunburn and heat exhaustion, so it’s important to take a few precautions to stay safe in the garden.
Wear sun protection, and try to plan gardening time for early in the day before the sun gets too strong or later in the evening when it cools off. Keep a water bottle handy to avoid the risk of dehydration.
Gardening is a great way for seniors to stay active and fit while enjoying the beauty of nature. Better health may be just a pair of pruning shears away!
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living and SNF in Wilmington NC
If you or loved one are no longer capable of living a safe, independent lifestyle, then call the Davis Community today at 910-686-7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living and skilled nursing services in Wilmington NC with a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Get to know the difference today — schedule a visit to the Davis Community!