With summer just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to head outdoors and cultivate your garden. Getting your hands dirty is a great way to pass the time that has hidden benefits for your physical and mental well-being as a senior.
Gardening is an amazing hobby, even if you’re looking to transition to a retirement residence soon. Some retirement housing facilities offer gardening clubs and workshops to help you hone your skills with a trowel. Moving to something like an All Seniors Care retirement residence is ideal for any age, as it offers a mix of independent and supportive activities that allow you to age in place.
Whether you have a backyard garden of your own or access to a community plot, check out these reasons why you should keep up your horticultural hobby.
It Gets You Moving
Staying active is the secret to a long and healthy life, but it’s not always easy if you don’t like the gym. Luckily, getting outside and maintaining a garden is an excellent form of low-impact exercise. A new study shows gardening is just as good of a workout as a brisk walk.
Gardening also keeps you on your toes — sometimes literally! You may have to reach to prune branches and kneel to pull weeds. Constantly moving — from stretching to bending and everything in between — helps you build up your strength, flexibility, and endurance.
It Boosts Your Mood
It’s all too easy to think of gardening as a purely physical pursuit, but it has a powerful impact on your emotional well-being, too.
Simply getting outdoors and under the warm sun can be a huge stress-reliever that boosts your Vitamin D intake. This “sunshine vitamin” is a vital component to mental health, not to mention its role in improving your bone health and immune system.
Getting your hands dirty may also play a part in boosting your mood. Some studies say there are good bacteria in soil that affect your serotonin levels. Serotonin is the “feel-good” chemical in your body responsible for regulating anxiety and happiness. Digging in dirt may not replace the need for antidepressants, but there’s pretty good evidence it will make you feel better.
It Fills Your Time
One of the great things about being retired is your time is your own again. You don’t have to wake up early in the morning to commute, nor do you have to worry during the weekend about going back to work on Monday.
But let’s be honest — retirement living can be tricky to navigate. Without the structure of work, it’s easy to lose track of the days. Gardening provides routine. It’s a productive way to keep busy, and it makes sure you have a fun and rewarding hobby to cultivate alongside your begonias.
With so many wonderful benefits to gardening, there’s no reason to put down your tools just because you’re over a certain age. Whether you live in a retirement residence or your family home, get outside and try it for yourself. It’s the perfect summertime activity at any age!