For adults over the age of 50 it’s important that hobbies and activities are still a major part of life, as they have both physical and mental benefits. No one wants to be bored and unfit in their golden years, and it turns out that gardening is one way to avoid these things – plus you get all the benefits of being able to grow some of your own food or flowers to boot!
Gardening is a rewarding activity on just about every level, and it has multiple perks. Even if you are under 50 it’s a great way to spend your free time!
Mental Health Perks
Looking after a garden, no matter how big or small, takes planning and dedication, and this is part of what makes gardening a great option for seniors. It’s engaging, requires some research, planning and forward thinking and it keeps the mind active. Even if you only have a few pots on a balcony or a few herbs in the kitchen, maintaining them takes effort and getting them growing and in tip top shape is great for your mood and for cognitive functions.
Gardening is also a great pick me up, as it usually involves time spent outdoors. There is no healthier way to get in a good mood than to soak up some vitamin D in the sun, while tending to a garden. You can think of gardening as a natural anti depressant, and this is good for mental health in so many ways. Gardening has also been proven to promote relaxation and according to a leading psychology publication, it also releases chemicals that combat stress.
If you can grow food it’s also great for mental stimulation, and it will give you a feeling of satisfaction, as you’ll not only be enjoying the fruit of your labour- literally- you’ll be saving money on super market produce and can spend more playing and winning with the online pokies Australia has to offer.
Gardening is a wonderful low impact exercise, and you can actually make it as intensive as you desire. Whether you simply potter around and pull out weeds, or you haul bags of compost around and dig it in, it’s up to you how physical you get. Of course, you’ll also need to gauge what your body is capable of, and not overdo it.
For older people gardening can get the blood pumping and its great for muscle growth and heart health. As it’s also a stress buster it can bring down high blood pressure too, and this is an added plus. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention lists gardening as one of the recommended activities for people over the age of 65 and suggest that they garden for at least an hour twice a week in conjunction with other exercise, as it an help reduce the chance of a stroke, cancer, diabetes and hypertension.
Planting and maintaining a garden requires bending, stretching and lifting, and all of these are ways to exercise the muscles gently. There is also quite a bit of walking involved in gardening, and this provides an aerobic activity for balance.