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Seniors & Gardening: Health Benefits of a Green Thumb

Nursing Agency Delray Beach, FL

As April showers have brought May flowers, it seems like now is the perfect moment to spend time in the garden. Although this beautiful spring can be enjoyed by all age groups, many senior citizens have especially found joy through practicing their green thumb. The following will explore the health benefits that seniors can glean from a regular gardening practice!

A Great Form of Exercise

One of the biggest benefits of gardening is that it provides seniors with a form of physical activity. The National Diabetes Education Program lists gardening as one of the top “five ways older adults can be more physically active.”

This activity is perfect for seniors as it provides a moderate amount of aerobic activity. This form of activity strengthens the heart, creates more economic blood flow, and strengthens the immune system!

Gardening As A Mood Enhancer

Another benefit of seniors spending time with nature is that it improves mood. It turns out, gardening is not only good for the body, but it’s also good for the soul!

A 2016 study conducted by the Environmental Health Perspectives discovered that spending time with greenery brought feelings of peace. The study discovered that daily exposure to nature managed to improve mood, lower stress levels, and strengthen mental health.

A Healthy Dosage of Vitamin D

Gardening is especially great for seniors because it allows them to get a healthy dose of Vitamin D. This is due to the fact that, when tending to nature, seniors are doing it outside in the sun! Regular sun exposure leads to higher vitamin D levels. This vitamin correlates directly with heightened bone health, stronger muscles, and overall well being.

It’s important to note that everything should occur in moderation. Sun exposure for too long can be detrimental to an elder’s health. Thus, whenever they go out, they should be equipped with a sun hat, loose-fitting clothes, and a healthy dollop of sunscreen!

Strengthening the Brain

Seniors also benefit from gardening because the activity involves practicing regular critical thinking skills. One must remember how much water a certain plant needs, how much sun it’s getting, whether a plant needs to be rehomed into a bigger box, etc. By spending this time actively using the brain for problem-solving, seniors can strengthen and enforce their brains for years to come. In fact, a 2016 study conducted by Health Day News discovered that regular garden time could protect the brain from the onslaught of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s!

For more information about the health benefits of gardening for seniors, contact the nursing agency Delray Beach, FL families recommend. Call Expicare today.