Seniors can benefit from gardening in many ways. From burning calories, to muscle strengthening, gardening gets the body moving by requiring bending, squatting, stretching and pulling. Gardening a few hours a week provides a great physical workout to help keep seniors fit and strong.
Planning out gardens and deciding what to plant, along with the plan to take care of a garden requires critical thinking skills that will help to reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Vitamin D is very important for our health and with gardening we can achieve a few hours of exposure without overdoing it. A wide rimmed hat allows for adequate sun exposure for our health while protecting our skin from too much exposure.
Gardening helps to keep the brain and body in sync. It increases hand/eye coordination and lowers stress production cortisol levels while increasing serotonin which is a calming chemical in the brain that puts us in a better mood.
Whether you are currently living alone or in a retirement residence, you can either plant a garden on your balcony in raised boxes or help to plant fruit and vegetables in a community garden. It will not only make the area around the garden more beautiful, but it will also produce more oxygen into the air and improve air quality for all.
Spring is the best time of the year for all of us to stop and smell the roses, or even better, to plant a few plants of our very own!
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