Health Benefits and the Senior Gardener
April is designated as National Gardening Month each year. We know gardening is a favorite hobby for many Seattle area seniors and caregivers who follow our blog. Not only is it an enjoyable activity for people of all ages but gardening has proven health benefits as well. They range from reduced feelings of stress and anxiety to promoting a more positive outlook on life. Even people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia benefit from the healing powers of gardening.
5 Reasons Why Gardening is Good for Your Health
Our always connected, fast-paced culture can create high levels of stress and anxiety for people at any age. Both conditions can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure and depression. Equally concerning is how many hours people are spending on their computers and electronic devices. It can make for a sedentary lifestyle that puts adults at higher risk for obesity, diabetes, and some forms of cancer including endometrial, colon, and lung cancer.
Gardening is a hobby that offers many benefits. Here are five reasons why it is good for your health:
- Stress Relief: The very act of digging in the dirt can be calming, as can being outdoors enjoying nature. Health experts often liken gardening to meditation for its stress reducing capabilities.
- Reduced Rates of Depression: Gardeners experience lower rates of depression than non-gardeners. The vitamin D producing rays of the sun can be one reason for that. Vitamin D has been shown to boost mood and lift the spirit. Others believe that planting a garden and encouraging it to grow is an act of hope that improves a person’s outlook.
- Physical exercise: Gardening is hard work. It can help promote better breathing, as well improve stamina, strength and flexibility. If you or a senior you love want to enjoy gardening, Six Safe Gardening Tips for Seniors may be of interest.
- Brain health: Research seems to indicate that gardening just might help lower a person’s risk for dementia. A study conducted at Case Western Reserve Medical School and published by Harvard Medical Publications showed people who engaged in physically active exercises that including gardening had lower rates of dementia.
- Good nutrition: Finally there is the nutritional benefit that comes from growing your own fruits and vegetables. People who grow their own produce are more likely to eat fresher, healthier foods.
Garden Series Invitation
We are kicking off our Garden Series this month and welcome you to join us! Seattle area gardeners are invited to attend Ciscoe’s Favorite Spring Plants and Tips to Grow Them on Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 pm at University House Issaquah. RSVP required at (425) 557-4200.
Ciscoe will whet your appetite for spring gardening and show off his favorite plants for attracting bees and hummingbirds. He will also share flowers that are well suited for small gardens and decks in the Pacific Northwest. Finally, his presentation will wrap up with practical tips for springtime garden maintenanc