Gardening is a hobby that is beloved by people both young and old, from all walks of life, all around the world. It provides mental, emotional, and physical benefits to ensure your holistic wellness is at its highest. As we get older, joints start hurting more, and changes in the weather bother us more than they used to. Thankfully, there are many health benefits of gardening you can enjoy.
Whether you live by yourself or are in an assisted-living arrangement, you can enjoy the benefits of gardening. We’re going to go over all the major ways that gardening can become your go-to therapy for mind, body, and spirit.
Here are the main benefits of gardening, especially if you’re a senior.
When you are involved in various gardening activities like planting things and pulling weeds, you are burning anywhere between 200 and 400 calories per hour! That’s a great way to lose some excess weight you have been wanting to lose. When you are gardening, you are engaging your entire body due to all the bending, squatting, reaching, pulling, and digging you’ll be doing.
Thanks to the tools you’ll be using, the digging, and moving around of garden supplies, you’ll be strengthening your muscles. You won’t have to get involved in lots of exhausting physical labor. Even just some light gardening for a few hours every week will provide you with a natural workout that strengthens your muscles.
Get Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for your health and well-being. You would think that being deficient in vitamin D would be difficult since the sun is usually out. However, over 41% of Americans are deficient in this vitamin. While taking a supplement is fine, the best way to get it is by getting some sun exposure. Spending at least 20 minutes basking in the sunshine will be enough to get all the vitamin D your body needs.
Gardening can help you reduce stress in a few ways. For starters, it can help boost your hand-eye coordination. This will ensure that both your body and brain stay in sync. Also, stress levels drop due to the relaxing nature of this hobby. Cortisol is a nasty stress-induced chemical that won’t get produced as much when you are gardening. Also, serotonin levels will rise thanks to being in the sun and also due to you being in a more relaxed mood. Additionally, there are stress-busting bacteria in the soil that you can benefit from when gardening without gloves.
Reduce the Risk of Dementia
As you get older, the risk of dementia rises. Thanks to the physically-demanding activity of gardening, along with the need to use critical thinking skills, you can reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, among others.
How to Make Gardening Easier
Now that you know about the health benefits of gardening, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the ways in which you can make gardening easier. If you want to get the most out of the benefits of gardening, you should follow these tips.
If you’re going to be gardening outside for an extended period of time, you will want to avoid getting sunburn. Apply some sunscreen and protect your skin from the elements. If you want to go a more natural route, you can use a sunscreen that has zinc oxide as its active ingredient.
Take a Joint Supplement
When you’re gardening, you are probably going to be doing a great deal of kneeling and bending. That could lead to you feeling joint pain if you are doing lots of kneeling and bending. Thankfully, a joint supplement can help ease any potential pain you may feel. JointFuel360 is a popular joint supplement that is packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants, and other natural ingredients that ensure your joints will not feel the burn of any gardening you are doing.
Create Raised Beds
Raised beds in your garden will mean you won’t have to bend down or kneel as much as with a traditional garden on the ground. This is especially important for seniors, given the potential joint pain and risk of falling. Raised beds will also provide the added benefits of improved soil drainage, less gardening space needed, and better soil quality.
Switch to Vertical Gardening
Vertical gardening involves the use of poles and trellises to grow plants. This makes it easier to attend to. Anything that grows similar to a vine will grow well vertically, such as beans, cucumbers, and squash. You also reduce mobility issues you may have had when your garden beds were located on the ground.
Take Extra Precautions
Gardening can be a highly rewarding hobby. However, you should take some extra precautions when doing it. Here are a few tips to keep you safe while gardening:
- Keep a cell phone on you while gardening in case you have an emergency that you need help with.
- Ideally, do your gardening prior to 10 AM or after 4 PM. This will keep you out of the strongest sun of the day, as well as keep you in cooler temperatures.
- Wear protective gear, such as a hat, sunglasses, a shirt or jacket with long sleeves, and pants. You will want to protect yourself from both the sun and potential ticks.
- Take part in some warm-up exercises, like stretching, before you start gardening. You will be able to avoid some of the most common injuries due to not stretching before conducting any physically-demanding activity.
Gardening can be an incredibly rewarding experience. As you now know, there are many benefits of gardening, all of which you can start enjoying right now. As long as you take the recommended precautions and follow our tips, you will be getting all the benefits of gardening that we went over. Take advantage of this healthy hobby, especially if you’re a senior who does not get that much physical activity on a regular basis.