As an older adult, the importance of physical activity is obvious. It’s ingrained into your brain at every wellness visit. But, sometimes finding the right activities to suit your interests can be difficult.
Have you ever considered the many benefits of gardening? Not only are gardens beautiful once they bloom, but they also can have a positive impact on your health and overall happiness. Plus, it’s a hobby you can do just about anywhere. Whether you live in a small apartment, condo, senior living community or your family home, you can start a garden with minimal effort.
Whether you choose to plant vegetables, fruits or flowers, the health benefits of gardening are undeniable. Not to mention the social and mental health perks as well. Get your hands dirty and start enjoying the outdoors.
Below are just five reasons you should consider turning gardening into your next hobby.
1. Boost Your Immune System – Vitamin D is an essential part of increasing your calcium levels. Calcium is responsible for building strong bones and boosting the immune system. Plus, gardening soil is known to have Mycobacterium vaccae which is a friendly bacteria proven to boost the immune system.
2. Reduce Your Risk of Dementia – Regular physical activity, especially gardening, has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing dementia in the future. Gardening requires many critical functions, including sensory awareness and fine motor skills.
3. Exercise Without Realizing it – Believe it or not, gardening is a really good form of aerobic exercise. Pulling weeds, digging in the dirt and planting new plants all require strength and movement. Gardening can help you work your muscles, build endurance and improve your overall flexibility.
4. Improve Socialization Skills – While you may think of gardening as a solo activity, the more you get into it the more you will be encouraged to join groups, visit local nurseries and even share your fruits and vegetables with neighbors.
5. Find Greater Satisfaction and Happiness – Gardening acts as a positive way to relieve stress, anxiety and worry. Fresh air can improve your mood and boost your health. Plus, spending time in the sun (with proper sunscreen) can help boost serotonin levels and improve your overall mood.
Gardening might not be the perfect hobby for everyone, but we encourage you to give it a try. You might realize you have a green thumb! Plus, planting your own fruits and vegetables can encourage you to eat healthier and give you a reason to feel proud of what you accomplished.
Your retirement years are meant to be enjoyable. By choosing from the diverse independent living options at St. Joseph of the Pines, you can eliminate the burdens of owning a home, while finding time to explore new hobbies and find your passion. Our living options support older adults through every stage of retirement. Schedule a tour of one of our two North Carolina campuses, Belle Meade and Pine Knoll, to see if we are the right fit for your future.