The benefits of gardening for seniors
If you have not earned your green thumb badge, it’s not too late. Tending an outdoor garden of flowers or vegetables, or managing the particulars of indoor plants, is therapeutic in a variety of ways while also being an age-friendly pastime.
A garden in full bloom appeals to all the senses. Interacting with a beautiful bed of flowers, a collection of succulents, or tropical vines can also boost overall health.
Read on to learn more details about the joy and health benefits of getting your hands a little dirty and see why gardening is a worthwhile endeavor during the golden age of life.
Boosts Immune System
It is not just the bounty of beets and carrots, but the mindful processes of gardening can improve the immune system. While gardening can be a little messy as you work wet soil with bare hands, there is something special happening at the microscopic level that is a benefit to your health. Within garden soil is mycobacterium, which can be beneficial. As they reach your body, the friendly bacteria are shown to reduce symptoms associated with allergies, asthma, and possibly depression.
So, the next time you do some garden work, remember that it could bring about mental tranquility and physical healing.
Melts Away Stress, Anxiety
The experience of visiting a botanical garden can induce a sudden sense of joy and relaxation. Similar effects can occur within the home, as well. Through the daily practice of gardening, you can help the body lower its cortiol levels in the brain. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol helps sustain certain body functions. At unbalanced levels, however, extra amounts of cortisol trigger high blood pressure and fluctuation in glucose levels.
Get a Gentle Workout
Daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes contributes greatly to an overall healthy lifestyle. With gardening, you can get in daily exercise while also basking in the glory of tending a successful garden. Of course, gardening might not seem like a labor-intensive activity or something that will get your heart racing. Nevertheless, the required movement, turning, stretching, bending, digging, and lifting can make for a healthy, age-appropriate workout.
As always, safety should be a priority when gardening. You can avoid injury caused by holding onto gardening tools, bending over, or lifting items with some light pre-stretching, bending at the knees. Drink plenty of water and make sure to get enough shade for a successful gardening workout.
As people age, meaningful hobbies are redefined as it relates to physical and mental health. Seniors who are fully engaged in their hobbies are statistically more likely to lead happier and more fulfilling lives and less likely to develop cognitive diseases.
It is easy to see why gardening is the type of hobby that elevates a sense of purpose. The labor and thought required for gardening go beyond planning and design skills. Lifelong learning, friendships, and the responsibility of caring for a living plant are other enriching aspects of this satisfying hobby.
Grow Social Tree
Community gardens are the perfect backdrop to explore your passion while meeting like-minded individuals in a similar place in life. Community gardens are also a suitable alternative for seniors with limited outdoor space, but who have a burning desire to work with their hands.
People who participate in community gardens often find other members to share tips and ideas, collaborate on best gardening practices, and best of all, will stop with them to smell the roses.
Get a Dose of Vitamin D
Through sunlight and photosynthesis, plants derive the necessary fuel to grow and thrive. Similarly, sunshine facilitates the human production of vitamin D, an essential player in maintaining bone density and regulating the development of tissues.
Vitamin D is produced as the skin is hit with the sunlight’s UVB rays. The vitamin improves the way the body absorbs calcium and helps muscles stay strong. Just 10-20 minutes of daily sunlight can help maintain good levels of vitamin D.
Gardening Group at Hollenbeck Palms
Residents of Hollenbeck Palms enjoy an array of life-enriching lifestyle opportunities and amenities. Residents partake in a range of clubs and exciting activities along the 8.5-acre garden campus at Hollenbeck Palms. Eager to make the most out of their outdoor surroundings and stunning views, they created their own outdoor Gardening Group.
In this group, residents can enjoy fresh air and sunshine, surrounded by the flowers and plants they sow. They also make new connections with fellow residents while soaking in the garden sun and enjoy the many health and mental benefits of caring for a garden.
If you have any questions about our Los Angeles retirement community, email [email protected] or call us at (323) 307-4505.