Looking for a new hobby to enjoy? The benefits of gardening for seniors simply cannot be overlooked.
Gardening season is right around the corner, and working on your green thumb is a great way to get some exercise, improving your nutrition, and boosting your mood. You can also start to grow more of the healthy foods you need in your daily diet, including these brain foods for seniors.
You probably don’t need any more reason than that to get started – but if you’re still not convinced, check out these seven benefits of gardening for seniors.
The Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
1. Improved Nutrition
Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of gardening is that it can improve your nutrition. You should be aiming for five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day – many of which you can easily grow in your own backyard garden. By growing your own plants and keeping your pantry and refrigerator well-stocked with homegrown produce, you’ll find it even easier to incorporate these tasty foods into your daily diet.
2. Better, More Positive Mindset
Gardening can work wonders when it comes to improving your mood and mental wellbeing. Not only will the rays of sunlight cause your body to produce more vitamin D, but it can also boost serotonin levels in your brain. You’ll feel calmer, more centered, and above all, more optimistic about the future.
3. Boost Your Community
Gardening is a great hobby to pursue if you’re living on your own and want an activity you can do with others. From participating in a community garden to growing a backyard plot with a friend or neighbor, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the company of others while you’re planting, weeding, and hoeing.
4. Get Some Exercise
You don’t need to run a marathon or start lifting 50 lb weights in order to get in shape. In fact, gardening is one of the best low-impact exercises you can participate in. It’s a hearty physical activity that will help you build muscle and will work your heart and lungs, too. As long as you stretch beforehand, it’s great for your joints, too.
5. Improved Immune Functioning
You’re not imagining it – you do suffer from fewer colds when you log time in the vegetable patch. That’s because there are various types of friendly bacteria found in soil that can improve your immune system. These bacteria can also help you ward off things like asthma, allergies, psoriasis, and more.
6. A Relief to Stress and Anxiety
When life gets you down, turn to the garden. A little quiet time among the plants can make you feel so much better. A study in the Journal of Health Psychology proved that gardening can significantly lower levels of cortisol in the brain. If you aren’t already familiar with it, cortisol is the stress hormone responsible for all kinds of nasty health-related side effects, including high blood pressure.
7. Reduced Risk of Dementia
If you’re concerned about your risk of dementia as you get older, consider turning to the garden for solace. It could significantly reduce your risk of dementia, according to multiple studies. This is probably because it requires you to use multiple critical functions, like your sensory awareness and dexterity. Working in the garden can help you build and maintain motor skills and even improve your strength, endurance, and overall health.
Get Gardening Today!
Still reading? If you’re still not convinced by all these benefits of gardening for seniors, consider this – gardening will give you an excuse to get outside and breathe that fresh air in deep. You’re sure to love it, so give it a try this spring!