Seventy seven percent of Americans enjoy gardening with 35% of older Americans continue to garden according to Garden Research. The growth and popularity of gardening continues to grow as illustrated by Statista.
Gardening continues its’ comeback in popularity and this comes as no surprise as people continue to see the health benefit and exercise benefit of gardening.
Some may view gardening as a hobby or activity that is simply done for the aesthetic or physical purposes but you may be surprised to know that there are many other health and therapeutic garden benefits that are associated with gardening as well.
Enjoy this guest post by Sam Choan of Organic Lesson as the health benefits of gardening for seniors is explored.
Benefits of Gardening For Seniors
As you go travel through the infographic, you will learn about several health benefits that would be especially impactful for seniors. If you have not tried gardening before then there is no time like the present. Gardening is easily scalable and does not take too much effort to start; container gardens, window gardens, herb gardens, and the traditional gardens are all awaiting your magic touch.
Gardening Reduces Stress Levels – Theraputic Garden
According to one study conducted by researchers in the Netherlands, gardening could play a part in reducing an individual’s stress level. Results from the study indicate that gardening could unconsciously reduce the level of stress hormone, which is known as cortisol.
As mentioned earlier, the good thing about gardening is that it doesn’t take too much effort, both mentally and physically. Gardening could consist of growing a few plants in small containers on the windowsill, a porch or patio. Raised beds gardens are gaining in popularity for all ages.
Many senior centers have community raised gardens for their members to enjoy whether by gardening, weeding, planting or harvesting the vegetables. The raised gardens at senior centers are very raised to ease bending and are easy on the back, knee and elbows.
Senior Gardening Helps Fight Dementia
Another study provided strong indications that gardening could play an influential role in reducing the risks of dementia and other brain diseases. According to study results, they found that working on a garden on a daily basis could help reduce the chances of dementia by up to 36%. You can see why that could be the case without even going through the study itself. Why?
Gardening, in general, could be considered a holistic activity. For example, there is a physical element through the maintenance and building work that has to be done. There is also a cognitive element as you learn and research more about gardening methods.
The social element cannot be overlooked when you start communicating and building friendship with other gardeners in the community. With all of these elements combined, it should not come as any major surprise that gardening can play a very important role for your long-term health.
Benefits Of Friendly Bacteria
One last benefit we want to highlight is the effect of soil bacteria. When people think of dirt, they generally associate it with bad bacteria. This isn’t necessarily a wrong thought process but for the most part, it is good to be exposed to the outside elements in order to build up your immune system.
One bacterium you might want to be aware of in soil that is indirectly good for you is Mycobacterium vaccae.
This particular bacterium is known as the happiness bacterium. As the name implies, this particular antidepressant can make you feel happier by increasing the production of serotonin.
As you can see there are many interesting benefits that come with senior gardening. We highly encourage you to start off your own and become a green thumb advocate.
Gardening Tools For Seniors
There are a wonderful variety of useful and comfortable gardening tools now made for gardeners of any age who like to garden, but also like to protect their joints and cartilage!
Tools I have found of interest include (and more and more raised bed gardening designs continue to evolve)
My Favorite Garden Tip
I use this tip every spring and it is a backsaver plus easy on your garden budget – learn how to container garden without using bags of potting soil!
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