Gardening

How does gardening help the elderly- 10 surprising benefits?

How does gardening help the elderly with heart health?

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Have you heard that gardening is an exceptional activity for older people? You might think it sounds boring or too much work, but trust me, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Gardening can be incredibly therapeutic and helps connect us with nature. Many older folks have enjoyed gardening earlier in their lives, so it’s a chance for them to relive fond memories, feel accomplished, and stay youthful. 

What is gardening and why is it good for seniors?

Gardening is about growing and looking after plants, whether they’re pretty flowers, beans, or veggies. Some people do it for fun, while others want to grow their food. There are tons of plants to choose from in various colors, shapes, and sizes. Selecting a plant that matches their personal stories and likes lets older persons express themselves and create something beautiful. Different plants suit distinct environments, making gardening interesting and versatile.

Gardening has multiple psychological and physical advantages for older adults. It allows them to interact with nature, appreciate life’s simple joys, and lift their mood. It works with various body parts, keeping them fit and active. 

Stay with Agristuff to learn more about how does gardening help the elderly and how to prevent accidents or damage when doing this activity.

1. Take care of your muscles

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Starting with the physical part of the benefits, this activity is a type of moderate exercise that is highly recommended for older adults. In this sense, when working in the garden, you carry out tasks such as transplanting a pot, watering the plants, or using tools with a certain weight, among others.

And that increase the strength and flexibility of your muscles and joints. It is also a type of moderate exercise that allows you to:Improve mobility and coordination, which helps prevent falls and other accidents.

Prevent or combat osteoarthritis, both in large muscle groups and joints, as well as in the fingers and hands.

With all this, you can exercise without having to go to the gym, since with gardening tasks, you manage to train your strength, flexibility, and endurance. In this way, if taking care of the garden becomes a routine, you will improve your physical condition and enjoy healthy aging.

2. Take care of your bones

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Another significant benefit of gardening for you is bone care. In this sense, as we age, bone tissue tends to weaken, leading to brittle bones. For this reason, doctors recommend practicing any activity that helps maintain good bone health.

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Specifically, gardening helps to reduce the loss of bone density and therefore prevents diseases such as osteoporosis. This is because of several aspects that occur when you plant or cultivate in your garden, for example:

Strength, endurance, and flexibility training

As I’ve already mentioned, gardening tasks can replace a moderate and thorough exercise routine. Therefore, when taking care of the garden, you carry out a physical activity that encourages the strengthening of the bones.

Sunbathing

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if you garden outdoors, being exposed to the sun will allow you to metabolize vitamin D, which is essential for assimilating calcium and improving bone health. However, you have to be careful to be protected, with cream or a hat, while you are in the sun.

The benefits of gardening for seniors can be enhanced with a diet rich in domestic vegetables.

3. it reduces the risk of heart diseases

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Did you know that cardiovascular diseases, commonly referred to as heart disease, kill millions of people around the world every year?

The CDC states that heart disease claims the lives of around 700,000 American adults, making it the primary cause of death. This accounts for 20.1% of all deaths in the country. 

Now, How does gardening help the elderly with heart health?

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Well, when we garden, we perform different tasks that require various levels of intensity. Activities like digging, raking, and pushing a wheelbarrow speed up our heartbeats and breathing rates.

And that’s gradually improving cardiac output and lung capacity, which is better for longevity and overall well-being of the heart. 

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine examined the correlation between gardening and mortality rates among 88,000 adults aged 60 and above. Researchers discovered that participants who gardened experienced a staggering 30% reduction in fatal heart attacks and strokes compared to non-gardeners.

They also tend to have slimmer waists and better cardiovascular profiles than those who don’t garden.

Want to maximize the benefits of gardening for your heart? Follow these things.

1. Mix high-energy tasks (like quick digging or heavy lifting) with lighter duties (weeding or pruning). This technique is like interval training used by professional athletes.

2. Choose movements that engage multiple joints and muscles, preparing you for real-life situations and improving your general fitness. 

For example: you can push a wheelbarrow, lift bags of mulch, or stretch to trim higher tree branches.

3. keep up correct body posture

Also, correct body posture helps mitigate unnecessary strain on vulnerable areas like the spine, hips, and knees while concurrently amplifying caloric expenditure.

4. Improves your family bonds

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You know how important family is, and spending quality time with loved ones is key to a happy and fulfilling life. Well, guess what? gardening can bring families closer.

It isn’t just about nurturing plants; it’s about nurturing relationships, especially among generations. For elders, spending quality time with loved ones while tending to a garden can be key to a happy and fulfilling life.

for example,
Collaborating on a garden project cultivates a shared sense of purpose and achievement for the entire family. Whether designing the layout, sowing seeds, or reaping the harvest, everyone contributes, fostering a sense of pride in their collective accomplishments.

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Observing it flourish year after year serves as a tangible symbol of shared effort and family heritage. It’s a source of pride for all involved and provides a serene space for family gatherings, where new memories can be created for generations to come.

5. Combats mental illness

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Besides improving our emotional health, gardening is very beneficial for preventing or combating mental illness. Specifically, therapeutic gardening is a recognized treatment for stress and depression.

This is because, by taking care of the garden for half an hour a day, we manage to reduce our levels of cortisol in the brain, the hormone that produces stress. This hormone can also cause problems in our ability to learn and remember.

Therefore, gardening helps us prevent or delay the onset of mental illnesses such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

6. Grants entry to fresh, nutrition-packed produce

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Growing your own produce guarantees ultra-fresh, high-nutrition items. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, these selections bolster overall health, shore up immunity, and sustain peak functionality. Honestly, I know, nothing beats the taste of hand-picked, sun-ripened tomatoes or clipped fragrant herbs for heavenly dishes cooked with love.

7. Gardening is a Brain Booster

It is normal for memory to decline as we age. Getting involved in gardening can have a positive impact on cognitive abilities.

Why? Because Our brains, like any muscle, need exercise to stay strong. Gardening provides that mental workout in a fun and engaging way. 

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Planning what to plant, remembering watering schedules, and figuring out how to keep those pesky pests at bay.–all these tasks challenge your critical thinking skills and memory. Plus, the sights, smells, and textures of the garden work together to stimulate the senses, strengthening those memory pathways.

You know, learning is a Never Stop process. There’s always something new to discover in the world of gardening.

From different plant varieties and their needs to the latest pest control methods, there’s a constant stream of information to keep the brain active. This ongoing learning process helps form new connections and keeps the mind sharp.

8. Fresh Air

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Spending time outdoors and breathing in fresh air is another fantastic perk of gardening for grown-ups. Sometimes, we don’t pay much attention to clean, oxygen-filled air, but it sure packs a punch for improving our health and well-being.

When you step outside and breathe deeply, you’re taking in loads of neat chemicals released by plants. These chemicals act as shields against bad stuff in the environment and have anti-inflammatory effects that can help with allergies and respiratory issues. Pretty cool, right?

Meanwhile, breathtaking views of trees, flowers, and lawns also ease stress and anxiety by triggering relaxation mode in our brains. Less tension leads to better mood, more energy, and overall improved quality of life. 

9. For a Better Sleep

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We all know a good night’s sleep is crucial for our health and well-being. But let’s be honest, sometimes catching those Zzzs can be tough. The good news is, spending time in your garden can actually help you sleep better.

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the reason behind this is Sunshine & Sleep Cycles, let m explain 

Sunlight plays a vital role in regulating our circadian rhythm, the internal clock that tells our bodies when to sleep and wake.

Spending time outdoors, especially in the morning sunshine, helps to synchronize this rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. .

Gentle exercises like gardening, such as bending, stretching, and walking around your plot, can help tire your body out positively, making it easier to fall asleep at night. It’s not a strenuous workout, but enough to promote a healthy lifestyle.

So, the next time you’re having trouble sleeping, grab your gardening gloves and spend some time outdoors. 

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10. Help you become more sociable

How does gardening help the elderly- 10 surprising benefits

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Finally, Did you know that gardening can be a great way to make new friends? It doesn’t matter how old you are, anyone can enjoy this wonderful hobby and connect with people of all ages. So why not give it a try and see how many new friends you can make while tending to your garden?

As the famous author and gardener, Henry David Thoreau once said, “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” Gardening is not just about growing plants; it’s about nurturing life, connecting with nature, and finding peace within oneself. It’s a beautiful way to spend one’s golden years, surrounded by the beauty and tranquility of a garden.

Precautions to be taken

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As with any physical exercise, you should take a series of precautions to avoid injury or damage when tending to your garden. In this sense, if you are not careful to avoid straining or straining your bones and muscles, you will not be able to enjoy the benefits of gardening that I mentioned.

Gardening is a low-intensity activity, but requires quite a bit of time each day. For this reason, before planting or cultivating the garden, you should:

See a doctor

Getting a doctor’s appointment before deciding to start gardening is essential to knowing your limitations and what gardening activities are and aren’t healthy for your health. If it is difficult to meet, contact a doctor through online services such as doc call and get advice.

Be physically prepared

It is important to do some stretching exercises when working in the garden. Likewise, you should work daily on strength and endurance so that your physical condition is sufficient for the time required to invest in gardening.

Avoiding accidents in the garden

It is very important to make sure that there are no loose slabs, scattered tools, etc. in the place where you are going to work, and you should also be aware of the plants being grown. Because some of them can cause poisoning or allergies.

Wear appropriate clothing

If you are going to use any chemical product, you should use gloves and protective clothing recommended by the product. If you do not use any of these types of products, it is also advisable to wear comfortable and soft clothes that you do not mind getting dirty. Non-slip shoes are also a good choice.

Do it with someone else

Although there are many benefits of gardening for the elderly, it is recommended to have someone with you to help if you become too tired or need help at certain times while doing this practice. For example, some people may be injured by a sudden movement such as bending over or picking up heavy objects.

Good Luck and happy gardening.

One thought on “How does gardening help the elderly- 10 surprising benefits?

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