The health benefits of gardening for seniors. For many seniors, gardening is the perfect post-retirement activity. It offers many benefits, both physical and mental, and there are plenty of programs available to enable this new hobby. In addition to health benefits, for people struggling to find new routine and rhythm to life after retirement gardening can provide just the right amount of structure and outside involvement without being overly strenuous.
Gardening and Stress
There’s something about gardening that can be very helpful for many people’s mental health. One of the key benefits is stress relief. Gardening is a relatively relaxing activity, while still be stimulating both physically and mentally, so for many people it’s the perfect hobby, combining work and play so it’s not too much of either. This is especially beneficial for retired seniors; allowing them to continue to relax and enjoy no longer dealing with the daily grind while still having a purposeful activity.
Gardening and Depression/Anxiety
For those suffering from either (or both) depression and anxiety, gardening can offer further benefits. Studies have shown that gardening is particularly efficacious in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Spending time interacting with nature is always restorative and calming, and helps emotional regulation.
Gardening and Social Isolation
For many seniors, dealing with and combating social isolation and loneliness is one of the bigger hurdles of retirement. Loneliness is linked with and even causes depression and sleeplessness and greatly increases a person’s risk of developing dementia, as well as other conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. There are many community centers or public gardens where people of all ages can take part in outdoor activities such as gardening, giving the elderly a place to go and interact with others. Even gardening at home gives people an opportunity to interact with neighbors or other people with the same hobby. It’s something to do and a subject to talk about, which be hugely beneficial.
Gardening as Exercise
For many, motivating ourselves to exercise is extremely difficult. Finding a specific activity or hobby you enjoy can be the perfect remedy for a lack of interest in physical activity. Gardening particularly is excellent for older people, as it’s an outdoor activity that requires movement while not being overly strenuous or demanding. As long as you take the right safety precautions, gardening can provide the right amount of outdoors time and physical activity without being excessively tiring.
Even if you have absolutely no experience, getting into gardening could be the solution (or at least a helpful factor) in overcoming some of the struggles associated with post-retirement life. Nature is our friend – so we should reap the benefits!