Gardening is an activity that allows for creativity, physical movement, interaction with nature, and a whole host of other positive features. Spending time outside working in the garden is a hobby that many seniors enjoy in the warm-weather months, but it can be more than just a fun way to pass the time.
The fact that gardening requires planning, knowledge, time, care, and creativity means that it is an activity that incorporates many facets that exercise the mind and body.
Benefits of Gardening
Gardens are beautiful places that are full of life and wonder. The act of gardening itself can be beneficial for seniors in multiple ways:
- Physical Activity: Gardening involves different levels of physical activity that can be beneficial for seniors’ physical wellbeing. Working outside and moving around to care for the garden can help seniors exercise their bodies and can help them get better sleep as a result of the combination of movement and fresh air.
- Self-Esteem and Mastery: Gardening can be an empowering activity in which seniors can plan and control the outcome of the task. Learning to nurture a garden provides a sense of purpose and can afford seniors a great sense of self-worth and mastery.
- Relaxation: The rhythm and work required for gardening has a slow and calm pace that makes it an ideal activity for relaxing and relieving stress. Some seniors even use gardening as a form of meditation. When things are overwhelming and a little stress relief is required, seniors can step out into the sun and just focus on caring for the plants they are nurturing.
- Improving Motor Skills: The work of planting and tending to a garden involves a lot of fine work that can help seniors to keep up strong motor skills.
- Learning and Skill-Building: Gardening is a skill that requires some knowledge for success. The process of researching and picking up the knack of getting things set up in a way that will allow the garden to flourish provides seniors with an opportunity to flex their brains and learn. Through working in the garden and honing the skills required to take care of the plants that are growing, seniors can build a skill and become more and more proficient.
- Socialization: Gardening can easily be made into a social activity. Whether it is through working on a home garden with friends or loved-ones or through becoming a part of a community garden or neighborhood gardening project. Seniors can make new friends and strengthen relationships through working with others on a shared project.
With the weather getting nicer and the temperature warming up, it is always nice to get outside and enjoy nature in whatever way possible. Gardening is one way to get out there and not only interact with nature, but help promote and contribute to the beauty of the season. Whether it be vegetables, fruit, flowers, bushes, or trees, planting something and helping it grow can be deeply rewarding and can also be beneficial for seniors’ mental and physical wellbeing in many ways.