June 10, 2021
“We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us. “
There’s a moment when you first set foot in a blooming garden that puts a smile on your face. From the colorful sights to the welcoming fragrance, it’s hard not to feel at home in a garden. While many people equate gardening to a nice way to up the value of their home, there are plenty of other benefits it can introduce into your life.
Gardening has the potential to help keep older adults more active and healthier. After all, there’s a reason why so many senior living communities have gardens on their ground for residents to explore and interact with. If you or your loved one is looking for an engaging hobby filled with fresh air and purpose. Join us as we explore some of the top benefits that gardening provides seniors.
As we age, it’s natural for older adults to become less mobile. Normal activities that you enjoyed when you were younger like going for a run, might not be realistic anymore. Without a new active hobby, seniors can fall into the habit of spending a little too much time sitting or sleeping.
Gardening is an engaging hobby that gives seniors the opportunity to stay active and burn calories. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that older adults can burn up to 330 calories an hour when they’re gardening. What’s great is that the number of calories from gardening are comparable to what you burn from walking. Even if you or a loved one have limited mobility, gardening can help you stay active.
There are times when we all become stressed or anxious. For seniors, stress is often caused by losing some part of their independence over the natural course of the aging process. However, gardening gives older adults a healthy outlet to cope with feelings of stress by giving them something to be responsible for. By taking care of another living thing, you’ll start to boost your own self-worth.
Gardening is also known to increase serotonin levels which can boost your mood and lessen any feelings of depression. By lowering stress levels, seniors can reduce their risk for developing high blood pressure.
As we get older, it can be a challenge to stay in touch with old acquaintances or make new friends. The beauty of gardening is that the activity is a natural conversation starter, and gardens serve as a natural social space for friends and neighbors to gather. Regular social interactions are not only therapeutic, but also prevents isolation and loneliness.
When we get older, our risk of heart disease and stroke go up. The good news is that regular exercise can help older adults lower their risk of suffering from a stroke and heart disease. As we mentioned above, gardening is classified as moderate exercise. Plus, the vitamin D you’ll get from being outside in the garden also helps prevent heart disease.
If you or your loved one hasn’t started gardening yet, you should start. As you just learned, gardening has a wide variety of health benefits, and many senior living communities have gardens waiting to be explored.
At Franciscan Ministries, we’re dedicated to helping every resident live joyfully. For more than a century, our communities have provided older adults with the highest quality care, personalized service and social interaction.
From locally sources dining to beautiful outdoor spaces, our expert staff is here to help each resident reach a higher level of wellness. If you want to learn more about how our communities are redefining senior living, contact us today.