United Methodist

Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

Gardening For Seniors

Gardening is an activity beloved by people of all ages, but did you know gardening is especially beneficial for seniors? Summer is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to start planning your garden. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned greenthumb. Gardening can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, in many different climates. Let’s take a look at the many benefits of gardening for seniors

Great source of Vitamin D

As we get older, we may experience mobility issues that make us less active than we used to be, especially once we retire and no longer leave the house to go to work every day. If you’re not getting outside during the daytime on a regular basis, you may not be getting enough Vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D increases calcium levels in the body and strengthens bones, which is particularly important for seniors who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. 

Outdoor gardening is a great way to get your regular dose of Vitamin D, but remember sunscreen and a hat!. It’s important to keep your skin protected on those blazing hot days. 

Mind Stimulating

Keeping our minds active as we age is very important. According to a study published in 2006, gardening may lower the risk of dementia by 36%, making it an excellent activity for older adults. Mental health is just as important as physical health, so taking up a physically and mentally stimulating activity like gardening is a great choice. You’ll have a lot of fun learning about new plants and flowers, developing your plant care routine, and experimenting with different species of plants. 

Whether you want to grow herbs, start a small vegetable garden, or plant some beautiful flowers, there’s no shortage of mental stimulation with gardening. 

Mood-Boosting

The mood-boosting benefits of being in and around nature are well-known. The vast majority of people report feeling calmer and less stressed when they’re in a green space, including in their own gardens. Gardens inspire feelings of peacefulness and tranquility, so having a garden is an excellent way to inspire a positive mood. Additionally, avid gardeners report that it’s very satisfying to cultivate tiny seedlings and watch them grow into full-grown plants and flowers.

Good Exercise

You may not think of gardening as exercise, but it’s a great low-impact activity for seniors, even those with mobility issues. You’ll burn calories while you’re weeding, digging holes, bending down, and reaching for various gardening tools. During the warmer months you may not even notice that you’ve worked up a sweat, but you certainly will! Gardening is great for strength, flexibility, and stamina, making it an ideal activity for physical health

Helps Loneliness

Many seniors struggle with loneliness and feelings of isolation. As we get older, it’s important that we make connections in our communities. One way to do that is to get into new hobbies like gardening. Many cities have local gardening clubs and community gardens, which welcome people of all ages and abilities. Joining your local community garden is a great way to meet people your age, and you’ll definitely benefit from the shared knowledge from your fellow green thumbs. If you currently reside in an independent-lifestyle community, be sure to ask if they have a gardening club. Our senior living community in Pitman, NJ, has an avid gardening club open for all residents to join! 

If you’d like more information about the benefits of gardening for seniors, or if you have any questions our senior communities in NJ, please get in contact with us by visiting our website at: https://umcommunities.org/

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