Hobbies are important at any age but for seniors hobbies can help you to age well. One of the most popular senior hobbies is spending time in the garden. Aging and chronic conditions such as arthritis can make physical activity more difficult at this time of our lives. Gardening is the perfect activity to help keep you in shape physically and also benefit your mental health. At the same time it won’t put too much strain on your body.
Some of the benefits of gardening include:
- Increased mental health. Gardening takes effort and can help you to keep focused. Your mind is active while you’re gardening. This helps you to maintain a good mood and help with cognitive function. Gardening can give you a sense of responsibility as you are in charge of nurturing plants from their beginnings. Many of the tasks associated with gardening are rhythmic and can help you relax. Being among plants keeps you in the moment, a good way to calm an anxious mind.
- Gardening provides low-impact exercise. It’s good for muscle growth and heart health. It is recommended as a strengthening exercise for those over 65. Muscle strengthening activities should be done twice a week at this age. It will help to prevent age-related diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Weeding, fertilizing, pruning and watering a garden will help to build muscles throughout your body. Since gardening also involves bending, twisting and walking around it can provide aerobic activity also.
Stay safe in the garden by taking it slowly, especially when you first get started. Do some light stretching beforehand to decrease the chance of muscle strains. Make modifications in your way of gardening if needed. A small gardening stool can help and knee pads for kneeling in the earth can prevent damage to your knees. You don’t need a huge garden. A small spot where you can grow a few flowers or vegetables can provide hours of enjoyment. To read more on how gardening can help with healthy aging, click here.