Gardening Made Easy for Seniors
Spring is in full swing and we look forward to enjoying nature once again. Older adults, who have lived through a particularly grueling and isolated winter due to COVID-19, can finally get back to the warm-weather activities they are known to love like playing golf, walking, and gardening.
Gardening in particular is great for older adults due to its restorative physical and mental health benefits. Read on for reasons why even easy gardening for seniors can reap many health benefits.
Low-impact cardio. Hoeing, pruning, planting, raking, watering – these movements help get the heart pumping without undue pressure to sensitive joints and bones. In fact, some studies show that this gentle form of exercise can actually cut the risk of heart attack or stroke by almost 30%.
Dexterity. Gentle gardening activities that engage the joints are great for conditioning small muscles, which can be beneficial to those struggling with arthritis. However, it’s important to leave the heavy lifting to others and utilize raised flower beds if lifting and kneeling are causing pain.
Mental health. Truly therapeutic gardening for seniors is known to improve mental health. Ninety three percent of gardeners report improved confidence and motivation after gardening daily, and some studies show that it significantly decreased the presence of the stress hormone cortisol.
Senior citizens with a green thumb should set themselves up for success before diving in. Those with mobility issues may want to consider a walking stick or cane for navigating uneven ground and making sure they have modified tools if necessary. All seniors should drink plenty of water and wear appropriate sun protection while tending garden.
The undeniable health benefits make it an ideal recreational activity, and with the right tools and resources, you have gardening made easy for seniors.