When we think of the benefits of gardening, our mind immediately goes to being able to grow our own fresh fruits and vegetables or having a beautiful space full of flowers. However, gardening does so much more than that, especially for older adults. For many individuals, it might even be a holistic form of therapy that gives them purpose and creates a safe space to think and act.
Here at Discovery Village At Deerwood, we strongly believe that all the residents in our senior living community should have interesting opportunities and activities to choose from to stay active. Gardening is one of the more popular hobbies that our residents choose to pick up because being out and about is a restorative and soothing way to exercise without worrying about overexertion. Our team has compiled a list of reasons why you and your loved ones should consider gardening and why it can be good for your health.
Gardening Burns Calories
As people enter retirement, it is tempting and easy to lead a life that is sedentary, or which reduces meaningful movement. This can happen due to many reasons like social isolation, reduce mobility due to chronic diseases, or just a lack of motivation to move around. However, most people will not adjust their food intake to reflect this change in activity levels. Unfortunately, this can lead to greater retention of calories, resulting in weight gain.
While a few extra pounds never hurt anyone, obesity can. In fact, it is a risk factor for many chronic health conditions. Light gardening helps to mitigate this as it gives you and your loved ones the chance to exercise and burn off some of your energy just by moving around, watering the plants, and pulling weeds.
Gardening Boosts Immunity
As humans age, our immune system starts to weaken. It is not as though we lose all our ability to fight off diseases, but our body just simply starts to respond slower to possible health threats. It might seem counterintuitive then that a messy and dirty hobby like gardening can help with this.
Interacting with garden soil and the mycobacterium vaccae present in it can help to build up resistance and alleviate symptoms of your health conditions. These include issues like psoriasis, depression, allergies, and even asthma. Just be sure to wash off all the dirt and grime before you start on your next meal!
Gardening Can Increase Opportunities to Socialize
Social isolation is a worrying state that many older adults have to experience. It is not being alone that is the issue but rather, the prolonged periods of loneliness due to lack of meaningful interactions with friends, family or other people can cause depression that affects both mental and physical health. If you choose to get involved in a community garden, being able to meet and talk to old and new friends can be extremely satisfying.
Another option to meet more like-minded people is to consider senior living options. Not only do they put you in proximity with other people who are in the same stage of life as you, but the dedicated staff is also always on hand to help you with any day-to-day chores and maintenance. To find out more about how our senior living community can help you achieve a better life, contact us today.