This isn’t only for the avid gardener as all seniors should know the lesser-known powers that gardening consists of. What’s interesting is that those that fall between the ages of 35 and 44 are the most active gardeners but there are so many health and later-life concerns that seniors have and something as simple as starting a garden or testing the waters with the hobby that could alleviate those concerns.
In fact, did you know that people who garden often outlive non-gardeners by 14 years? It can be surprising to think that planting flowers, fruits, or vegetables could have such a positive impact on your life that it can potentially extend your life by that much. The great thing is, it doesn’t matter if you have a designated outdoor space. With products today, it’s easier than ever to have a tabletop garden, a smart garden to help beginners, or even one that’s mobile or even vertical and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Let’s talk about the benefits of gardening that you might not have known. Chances are, by the end of this article, you might be ready to start your own.
Wondering Why Gardeners Live Longer?
The reason why those who garden are able to outlive those that don’t is because of the combination of the benefits that the hobby offers. Gardeners get higher doses of vitamin D which is essential for maintaining the healthy bones that our bodies build since Vitamin D is what helps us to better absorb and retain calcium as well as phosphorus.
Also, consider the fact that you get the chance to play around in the dirt when you garden. What most people don’t realize is that soil exposes us to microorganisms that are actually beneficial to our bodies since they can help to give our immune systems a boost. It’s important to mention though, that this is only healthy in small amounts and it’s still good practice to wear gardening gloves.
There are a variety of other reasons that contribute to the healthier lives that gardeners lead and why they often get an extension on their lifespan. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable advantages.
Gardening Is a Mood Booster
Yes, gardening can actually enhance your mood although many people might consider it to be strenuous and unrelaxing. You should know that gardening can present as strenuous but that’s because you are using your muscles when participating in this hobby and if you aren’t conditioned for it, you’ll experience more soreness but as you continue, it will subside. However, many seniors in Florida aren’t aware that there is a type of bacteria that you can find in soil that stimulates different parts of our brains.
This stimulation helps to produce serotonin and this results in an enhanced mood. Overall, gardening makes you more present and it probably also helps that it aids in lowering blood pressure as well.
Stress Reduction Alert
If you garden for just 30 minutes, your cortisol levels may drop which helps to boost mood and lower levels of stress. Additionally, the stress-reducing benefits often come from the fact that it helps with building self-esteem and boosting positive emotions. Not to mention, it helps with reducing general tension and is a good fatigue-fighter.
Did You Know That Gardening Can Help With Recovering From Addiction?
Gardening provides those struggling with addiction with the tools they need to aid an effective and healthy recovery. For one, you’ll experience an increase in your self-esteem and often form a better sense of self-control. These factors can be helpful for those that struggle with substance abuse as it increases your chances of sticking to a recovery plan and holding yourself accountable. Not to mention the fact that you’ll often notice a spike in your ability to concentrate and function better mentally is also an impressive factor. Whether you want to plant fruits, vegetables, or flowers, any type of gardening will be effective.
Heart Health at Its Best
Many of the benefits that gardening has to offer seniors living in Florida are connected. For example, gardening, as we know, helps to reduce stress and this is healthy for the heart. When you are more sedentary, your risk of developing heart disease increases, and gardening is a good way to become more active. For the best results, after you start your garden, try to stay active with it and make it a part of your daily routine to enhance your heart health and to remain heart healthy.
Carpal Tunnel Isn’t Comfortable, Gardening Helps With Prevention
Gardening is capable of keeping seniors healthy and in shape. What’s great is that it’s a notable option for increasing your hand strength. The reason this is important is that carpal tunnel syndrome is prevalent in seniors and so are other things that can affect hand functioning.
Developing a hobby like this is one of the lesser-known prevention methods for carpal tunnel and the sooner you get started the higher chance you’ll have of keeping yourself farther from the development of this syndrome.
Yes, Believe It or Not, It Helps to Improve Memory With Age
Gardening increases neural development and improves cell growth. What’s even better is that this can equate to enhancing the health and wellness of children as well. This gives seniors a unique way to bond with their grandchildren or their families in general.
To give you an idea of what plants actually help to improve memory by consumption, you should look into things like thyme, rosemary, and kale. Keep in mind that if you want to start small, an herb garden might be a good place to start especially if you want to get more into herbal health and wellness tactics.
It’s the Start of a Healthier Diet and Lifestyle
Overall, gardening helps to improve the quality of life. For seniors in Florida, you’ll have ample opportunity to garden outdoors year-round given the warmer weather. Also, you’ll have better options for what you can successfully plant due to Florida’s climate. Gardening is also your chance to not only increase your Vitamin D levels. It’s also a great solution to providing yourself with healthier foods. With this, you will have a better chance of developing healthier eating habits which will also promote a healthier lifestyle for seniors.
Struggling With Sleep? Start Gardening and You Won’t Anymore
Gardening is a form of light therapy which allows for better rest at night since time in your garden will improve your circadian rhythm. This is your “body’s clock”. You have to also think about how gardening also helps you to burn calories. In a sense, it really is a workout and just like exercising, being in the garden can increase your want to sleep afterward or at least at the end of your day and it will also result in a better quality of sleep.
The Things We Haven’t Tried Are Sometimes What We Need Most
Trying new things isn’t only refreshing. A lot of the time it can be beneficial to our health. From lowering blood pressure and increasing your connections with others to enhancing our sense of awareness and decreasing the risk of dementia, gardening offers more health benefits than anyone might have thought. If you’re a senior living in Florida, take advantage of being outdoors and start something new today or if you’re a fan of gardening already, continue making it a habit….the benefits are unmatched.