What is the role of gardening for aging adults? What makes it an ideal and fulfilling pastime for them and for people of all ages?
It’s been said that during times of crisis, people has a natural tendency to “go back to the land.” And during this pandemic, people have suddenly become so-called ‘plantitos’ and ‘plantitas’ which is a conjunction of plant plus tito (uncle) or tita (aunt). Many people have stocked up not only on alcohol, masks, and other essentials. They have appeared to hoard up on plants as well.
However, did you know that tending to plants, and gardening in general, truly has its benefits. And this is not only true in times of crisis like this global pandemic.
In fact, many studies have shown the benefits of gardening even before the pandemic. Let’s take a look at them:
It’s stands for your workout.
Older adults who take up gardening tend to increase their daily activities. They get to squeeze in aerobic activities as they garden. They also show increase in hand dexterity. This is because they get exercise as they dig the soil, plant seeds and seedlings, and water the plants. Weeding the garden also is a physical activity, allowing them to stretch and tone their muscles.
It uplifts you emotionally.
Gardening for aging adults is one way to help helps boost their mood. It has the same effect as biking, going out to dinner, or watching a movie, as it is worthwhile, rewarding, and enjoyable. People who garden experience greater sense of happiness and contentment.
It helps improve nutrition.
Growing fruits and veggies in your garden makes you more likely to eat them more often and eat healthier. This could take the place of processed food as well. This provides you with food security, especially in the time of crisis.
It helps boost your immune system.
People who garden tend to have stronger immune system. They also experience less inflammation, which is more common in older adults.
It helps you practice mindfulness.
Your garden can be your personal sanctuary in the noisiness and busy-ness of everyday life. This is the time when you can let your mind wonder and let time pass you by. At the same time, you can be more aware of your surroundings as you choose, allowing you to focus in the moment and lose yourself in gardening.
It helps get you out of the house.
There are benefits of being out in nature, even if it is just out of your house and in the garden, Breathing the fresh air and being out in the greenery can help lift the mood and keep you in a healthy disposition.
It gives you a sense of purpose.
Having a garden helps you put your personal stamp on a space. It allows you to create and have something to look forward to. Whether it’s waiting for flowers to bloom or for plants to bear fruits, it makes them have a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
It helps promote brain health.
Gardening for aging adults provides mental stimulation, allowing them to plan, try out different things, and experiment.
Today, gardening for aging adults can be fulfilling. It doesn’t matter whether you have big or small spaces. There are also many resources to help first-time gardeners to get up to speed to how to get their green thumb going.