The Wonderful Health Benefits of Gardening for Older Adults
There’s nothing like the joy of watching something grow that you planted with your own hands and lovingly nurtured along the way. Plus, growing your own vegetables or herbs can augment your daily diet and flowering annuals and perennials help add beauty to your day. Aside from the culinary and aesthetic benefits, did you know that gardening qualifies as a moderately intense exercise and that it can actually help relieve stress?
These are but two of the many health benefits of gardening for seniors. Gardening is a great way for seniors to stay active, healthy and engaged. And that’s why you’ll often find community gardens at retirement communities.
Physical Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
When it comes to physical fitness, gardening can help to improve seniors’:
Gardening requires lifting, carrying and digging, which can help strengthen muscles and improve balance. It’s one of those great forms of exercise that doesn’t feel at all like a workout, and you get to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables or flowers) of your labor. Win-win!
Gardening requires constant reaching, bending and squatting, which can help to improve your flexibility and range of motion. Think of it like tai chi or yoga in the wild.
Gardening can also help improve your cardiovascular health by increasing your heart rate and circulation. All while you wile away with a smile on your face and green on your thumb.
Another of the many physical benefits of gardening for seniors is that it can help promote weight loss and weight maintenance by burning calories and increasing muscle mass.
Mental Health Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
On the mental health side, gardening also offers many benefits to seniors:
In a bad mood? Grab a shovel or a hoe and work your troubles away. Gardening can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity that can help to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
Gardening can also help improve your memory and cognitive function. Planning and planting the perfect garden requires problem-solving, decision-making and concentration.
While gardening is relaxing and beneficial as a solo hobby, it’s even better with friends. Whether you’re joining with family, friends or neighbors, a community garden can be a great way to socialize and meet new people.
Sense of Purpose
And finally, gardening is great for creating a sense of purpose and accomplishment. There really is nothing like seeing all your hard work literally come to life.
Gardening Benefits at Senior Living Communities
If it isn’t obvious by now why you’ll find so many community gardens at senior living communities, here are a few more gardening benefits for seniors specific to senior living communities:
Access to Tools and Supplies
Residents of senior living communities often have access to tools and supplies that can make gardening easier, such as wheelbarrows, shovels and gloves. All you need to bring is your passion and some plants.
Staff and residents at retirement communities often have their own gardening experience and enjoy offering advice on how to choose plants, care for your garden and prevent pests and diseases from destroying your work. Make a friend while making better use of your gardening time.
Fresh, Seasonal Produce
There’s nothing like enjoying delicious fruits and vegetables you’ve grown yourself. Look forward to the summer growing season and enjoy amazing produce like cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, peas, yellow squash, butternut squash and more. If you can grow it, you’ll probably find it in your local senior living community garden.
Sense of Community
Retirement communities often designate community gardens to foster a sense of community amongst residents and visitors. By creating a space for all residents, these gardens offer shared beauty, a sense of purpose and blossoming friendship.
Enjoy Retirement Living in Kansas City, MO. at a Place with a Community Garden
At John Knox Village, our community garden is large, gated and solely for the benefit and enjoyment of John Knox Village residents and associates. It has a variety of beds of different sizes, including raised beds and in-ground plots. In fact, gardening here is so popular, our community garden has been featured on the local news.