Gardening has often been a fulfilling hobby and time-passing activity. Besides its obvious advantage of potentially providing food and beautiful scenery, gardening is relaxing and engaging in equal measure.
Gardening also has several therapeutic and health benefits for older adults. Let’s take a look at some key reasons seniors should start gardening as a hobby.
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1. Reduce Risk of Dementia
Indoor gardening has been considered to improve cognition in dementia patients. According to a study involving 3,000 seniors tracked for 16 years, daily gardening was found to be effective in reducing the risk of dementia. Daily gardening led to a 35%-47% reduced risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia.
2. It Favors Mental Health
Gardening is an ideal way to relax and lower stress levels while uplifting your mood. It can also be effective in helping to avoid mental health issues.
Focusing all your attention on an immediate gardening task and details tends to reduce negative feelings and thoughts. Gardening also boosts self-esteem since you'll feel good after accomplishing a task.
Gardening also improves your attention span, which typically reduces with old age. In case you struggle with staying focused on tasks or conversations, gardening can help you learn how to channel focus for improved interactions and daily activities.
3. Gardening is a Great Form of Exercise
Regular low-impact exercises can help keep you fit and healthy without straining your body or budget. Benefits of regular exercise in seniors include:
- It improves cognitive functioning
- It can improve your mood and eliminate stress
- It optimizes cardiac functions, thus helping to keep away osteoporosis, diabetes, or heart disease
- It increases your energy levels
- It improves your balance and strength, making you more independent.
Almost every task and activity involved in gardening (trimming, planting, weeding, harvesting, etc.) require you to move your body joints and muscles. By working on your flexibility and range of motion, you start to feel and appear more fit and healthy.
4. Gardening Fosters Interactions and Socialization
Besides the general physical benefits of gardening for seniors, such as exercise and vitamin D from sunlight, gardening can also benefit you socially. Fellow gardeners love to share the tips and tricks they’ve learned over the years and this often leads to easy friendships. With the growing online community, gardeners can even share with people all over the world.
If you don’t have access to a local garden in your community or assisted living center it’s a perfect activity to share with family or friends.
5. Gardening is Good for the Environment
Gardening and eating your own home-grown food can help reduce your carbon footprint. A home garden also provides a safe and friendly ecosystem for an assortment of birds or animals. For seniors who are also concerned about watching their diet, gardening can give them the perfect opportunity to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
Staying proactive in your retirement years can help to optimize your health fully. Gardening allows you as a senior to regularly exercise, try new food, and socialize with your friends and family. Ready to pick up a practical and enjoyable hobby? Try gardening and watch the gradual improvement in your daily life.
Moorings Park Communities has resident gardens where members can plant and maintain their flowers and plants of choice, often becoming a peaceful oasis for anyone who visits. Our three campuses in Naples, Florida may be your ideal community if you value a healthy, active lifestyle. Contact us to discover how this upscale retirement community can help you develop or discover new hobbies.