We have all heard that exercise is one of the most important ways to help ward off the mental and physical effects of aging. Unfortunately, as one grows older, it can become harder on the body to partake in some of the more rigorous activities that may have been beloved hobbies throughout life, such as running or playing a high-impact sport.
It is important for seniors to find a physically and mentally stimulating activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle without being too strenuous on the body. The great news is, summer welcomes the perfect opportunity to take part in an activity that offers a host of low-impact, high reward benefits: gardening!
Gardening is an ideal hobby for seniors to invest their time in for a wide variety of important reasons. Physically, it allows one to engage in moderate but very beneficial physical activity, and it also provides exposure to the many health benefits the sun provides, including mood elevation & Vitamin D production.
Gardening is such an amazing activity because it does just as much good for the mind as it does for the body. Everyone feels the inherent need to live a purpose-driven life, and it is important that seniors find meaningful ways to fulfill that need during their golden years, when the responsibilities of work and raising children have lessened. Gardening is the perfect outlet for that: growing new life takes patience, time, dedication, and the commitment to keep learning and to persevere through any obstacles or setbacks that arise. "We had an amazing group of volunteers come and set up a bunch of planters in the large backyard behind our community, and it has been absolutely wonderful for our residents," says Kathy McPhail, Executive Director of Alden Pointe Assisted Living & Memory Care in Hattiesburg, MS. "Caring for these plants on a daily basis gives our residents such a sense of purpose, and spending quiet time out in the beautiful sunshine has instilled peace and joy in us all!"
In addition to the cognitive stimulation and physical benefit that gardening provides, it can also be very emotionally fulfilling, as well. Gardening can often be quite a challenging task, and the sense of accomplishment one feels in seeing the plants they lovingly cultivated grow and thrive promotes confidence in one’s abilities and a boost in self-esteem.
After reading this post, we hope you are inspired to dig out your gardening gloves and sun hat and start researching a new planting project that interests you! If you’re a newbie to the gardening game, it would be a great idea to contact a local gardening club in your area- they are usually more than willing to answer any questions you might have, and many are happy to come by and help you get your own garden started. Whether on your own or with a friend or a club, we wish you the best of luck in breathing new life into your summer through the cultivation of bountiful, beautiful blooms!