senior gardening

Hobbies for Seniors: Health Benefits of Gardening to Older Adults

Gardening can be one of the most rewarding activities that you can do. It also provides a ton of health benefits, especially to older adults who want to live a longer and happier life.

If you are still not convinced, here are the good things you will reap if you decide to get your hands dirty and start planting now. Also, don’t forget to buy landscape supply in Salt Lake City or anywhere you are in Utah.

You Will Get Exercise

You can count gardening as part of your regular physical activity. When you are an older adult, age and all the ailments that come with it limit the number of exercises you can do.

According to the World Health Organization, people who are aged 65 and above must do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercises per week. If you do not get enough workout, you are more prone to having health conditions, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and stroke.

Gardening gives you an opportunity to get off the couch and start moving. Through gardening, you get to work out all your major muscle groups: your arms, shoulders, buttocks, legs, neck, back, and abdomen. You not only burn calories from the tasks you have to accomplish, but you also strengthen your body. Moreover, there is a lot of stretching involved in gardening. It is an all-in-one exercise routine that places minimal stress onto your body unlike more popular activities such as jogging.

Stress, Anxiety Reduction

Stress is a natural part of adult life, but that does not mean you cannot do something about it. When work or current events make you feel overwhelmed with emotions, you can escape to your garden.

A previous study asked a group of people to complete a stressful task. They found that 30 minutes of gardening has noticeably reduced the level of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, of those who were involved.

Stress can take a toll on both your mental and physical well-being. Frequent stress can lead to high blood pressure which, in turn, increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Moreover, gardening, and generally being around nature, makes you less anxious. Studies have suggested that gardening exposes you to Mycobacterium vaccae, a healthy bacteria that live in the soil and is linked to an increase in serotonin or the happy chemical. Serotonin is responsible for regulating your mood, helping you manage anxiety.

Improved Sleep

Senior woman sitting on her bed in the morning yawning with arms raised in a stretch

For those who have been having difficulties come bedtime, gardening can help you.

Gardening forces you to go and spend time outside during the daytime. As you do, you soak up on sunlight which is good for your overall health. Aside from giving you a dose of vitamin D, which boosts your immunity, exposure to the sun allows your body to reset its internal clock and maintain a normal cycle of day and night. You likely will fall asleep faster at night after spending a few minutes or hours outside during the day.

Having an appropriate amount of sleep reduces your risk of type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.

Gardening is a great way to spend your free time if you are an older adult. Aside from the aforementioned health benefits, gardening is easy to do, even if you believe you do not have a green thumb. Moreover, if you participate in community gardening, you get to meet and bond with like-minded people.

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