After the last frost of the year, many of us are eager to get outdoors and get our hands dirty with some annual planting and gardening. There’s nothing more rewarding than the smell of perennials, fresh vegetables, or home-grown herbs filling your outdoor space, as you relax on your patio or deck to admire your hard work.

Gardening is a passion for many, but did you know that it also provides numerous health benefits for seniors?

According to experts, gardening has been shown to improve mood, combat loneliness, and even reduce the risk of developing dementia. Let’s explore these and other health benefits of gardening.

Gardening for Seniors | Why Is It Important?

Maintaining a home garden allows you to get outdoors, which means increased exposure to fresh air, vitamin D, and plenty of exercise. In fact, any avid gardener will tell you it’s a labor of love. That means the harder you work, the greater the pay off, so it does require a bit of physical labor on your part.

With all the extra steps, plus the getting up and down to attend to your plants and vegetables, remember to take all of this moving around into consideration, as you don’t want to injure yourself while gardening. 

It’s always recommended that you consult with your doctor before engaging in any type of physical exercise (even gardening) and be sure to properly stretch before spending the day planting or weeding.

You might also consider investing in a quality gardening stool that allows you to sit, when needed, as well as cushion your knees and joints while working on the ground. 

Top Gardening Stools for Seniors

Now that we know gardening helps you stay active in your daily routine, here are a few other health benefits you can expect:

Gardening Helps Boost Memory

Gardening involves critical thinking and problem solving. It involves careful planning (i.e., knowing what and where to plant something, how to care for it and troubleshoot issues that may arise, etc.). Because it requires ongoing maintenance, you’ll always be thinking strategically and planning your next steps. Let’s also not forget that gardening helps stimulate multiple senses at once and inspires creativity.

Gardening Helps Reduce Anxiety

Getting out of the home and into the fresh air is one way to help reduce stress. Now, imagine having a quiet place, surrounded by blooming beauties to practice mindfulness and breathing. 

Plants release oxygen and many different varieties offer scents that help relax any tension or headaches you may be experiencing, as well as improve sleep. 

Gardening Helps Your Immune System

In addition to helping you reduce stress, gardening also exposes you to vitamin D, which is especially important after spending the majority of the winter indoors. According to an article in Woodies Garden Goods, vitamin D helps support immune function by promoting healthy cell growth and resistance to illnesses.

Discover Gardening Made Easy for Senior

As you get further into your retirement years, you might decide it’s time to downsize your home and move into a retirement community, like Sweetwater. We understand that this is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, and we understand it can be difficult to leave your family home and daily routine behind. In fact, if you’re an avid gardener, you might be worried about missing out on your favorite hobby or not having access to a home garden when you move.

At Sweetwater Retirement Community, our focus is helping residents live life to its fullest potential and that means spending their days doing the types of activities they enjoy most. 

As part of our Life Enrichment Programs, we provide a host of activities and programs designed to complement our residents’ interests, including gardening. And depending on your needs, our retirement community also offers townhome villas that provide you with access to your own backyard and landscape. This means you can grow your garden and enjoy its beauty in the privacy of your own backyard.

To learn more about our Life Enrichment Programs, or to take a tour of one of our townhome villas, contact our team today! We’ll be happy to walk you through your options so you feel empowered to take this next step in your retirement journey.

For more senior living tips, stay connected to our blog. 

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