Whether you’re a gardener or not, chances are that you can agree that spending time with plants is good for the soul. It’s a relaxing pastime and an excellent form of exercise. And when it comes to improving your health and well-being, there’s nothing better than getting outside in the fresh air (especially for those who live near polluted urban areas). After all, there are very few activities that produce so much physical and spiritual benefit as gardening.
Fortunately, a lot of people are starting to realize the importance of gardening for seniors. With this in mind, we’ve decided to analyze the various benefits of gardening for older adults.
1.) It Boosts Physical Activity Levels
One of the most common misconceptions about gardening is that it’s not a very active activity. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Gardening is actually one of the most active endeavors you can do.
In fact, gardening is a great form of light exercise, and it’s also effective in improving strength and flexibility. The time you spend hitting up the gardening store will also help you gradually increase your physical activity levels during the course of the day. After all, gardening requires a great deal of walking and bending. And this kind of activity can be ideal for those who are looking to get back into shape.
2.) Improved Immune System
In addition to being a great form of exercise, gardening is also known to increase your immune system. It’s thanks to the fact that you’re putting yourself in a more natural environment when you walk around the garden.
In other words, when done properly, gardening can help ward off colds and flu as well as boost your general level of health and happiness. And this is why it’s usually recommended by doctors for people who have been exposed to illnesses like colds and the flu.
3.) Relieves Stress and Anxiety
The truth of the matter is that gardening is a great way to relax in a very healthy environment. This is because most of the things you’ll do when you’re out in the garden will be rather simple. For instance, you’ll be able to use tools to get things done, and there will also be plenty of opportunities for you to sit down and take a load off while you’re working.
All in all, this is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety levels. And this is especially true for those who are looking to de-stress after a long day at work.
4.) It Provides a Sense of Socialization
We can’t stress enough how important it is for older adults to maintain a healthy social life. It’s especially important for those that are no longer able to work a steady job. And this is because elderly people who do not have a solid social circle tend to become isolated.
Fortunately, gardening can be one of the best ways to stay connected with the community. After all, gardening is perfect for those who are looking for opportunities to get out and about in the great outdoors. It’ll also provide seniors with an opportunity to meet new interesting people and even begin a new friendship in some cases.
5.) May Reduce the Risk of Dementia
Gardening isn’t just a great activity for older adults to stay active and healthy. It also helps reduce the risk of depression and dementia, which are two common conditions affecting older people as they get older.
In fact, many of the activities that seniors do in the later years of their life have been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline. This is why it’s so important for seniors to maintain an active lifestyle.
6.) It Can Help Them Develop Independence
We’ve already talked about the fact that gardening provides seniors with a lot of opportunities to meet people. And the fact that it helps lead to more social interaction is critical for older adults. All of this can be good for those who want to learn new skills and meet new people.
Unfortunately, when it comes to independence, many seniors rely on their children quite a bit. And this can be very detrimental for seniors as they get older. And gardening provides the perfect solution to this problem. After all, it’s an activity that’s a great way to develop independence and strength.
7.) Enhances Cardiovascular Health
One of the biggest benefits of gardening is that it improves one’s cardiovascular health. This is because it provides seniors with the opportunity to get in touch with their bodies on a regular basis. When this happens, seniors can begin to recognize their bodies as they age and learn more about their various organs.
This can be ideal for older adults who are looking to increase their overall level of heart-related health. And this is great news because a lot of people don’t realize that cardiovascular disease kills around three million people every year worldwide.
8.) Helps Boost Bone Health
That’s right, gardening can also help seniors maintain their bone health as they grow older. This is mainly because gardening requires a great deal of squatting and sitting down. And those are two things that are absolutely crucial to maintaining good bone health in the years between 40 and 80 years old.
After all, a person’s bones are not only affected by how active they are but also how often they’re still able to perform activities that require them to squat or sit down on a regular basis.
9.) It Can Give Them a New Purpose
One of the biggest problems with growing older is that it often takes away your sense of meaning in life. And this can cause you to feel absolutely miserable and useless as you get older. In fact, these feelings have been shown to contribute to depression among older people.
But fortunately, gardening can actually do a lot to help seniors regain their sense of purpose. After all, gardening gives seniors a way to channel their energy and focus on doing something productive.
In fact, the amount of health benefits a person receives from gardening is so high that many people don’t even realize it. The truth is that older adults will typically feel better after taking a few minutes out to tend to their garden than they ever would from working out at a local gym or even going for a walk outside.