Benefits of gardening for the retired
Benefits of gardening for older people include health and therapeutic well being, especially edible gardening. Garden beds, equipment and tools can all be modified to create a garden that is interesting, accessible and productive.
Gardening can be beneficial for everyone as it increases the amount of physical activity, improving both mental and physical health, mobility, and flexibility. It helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis, reduces stress levels, increases your amount of vitamin D and improves well being through social interaction. If that wasn’t enough, you can grow tons of nutritious, home-grown produce at a fraction of the cost of buying from the supermarket. If you don’t have enough garden space you could always consider an allotment, they are inexpensive and you will be in a social environment with people of the same interests as you.
Depression and other mental health problems have been proven to improve from a mixture of the physical activity, cognitive stimulation, and satisfaction of the work. Therapeutic properties are also found in your garden, with a wealth of scents, sights, and sounds, to take note of. Letting yourself get a little hot and sweaty may also have hidden benefits, elevated body temperatures are correlated with increased feelings of well-being, but don’t forget to drink plenty of water and know your limits.
Even if you don’t manage to get the ‘ideal’ or ‘on trend’ garden straight away, you should sit out in it more. Buy a garden dining table, or a bench or even just tidy off the back door step to sit and have a cup of tea every now and then. The social and mental benefits of gardening are unbelievable, have friends round for an evening glass of wine in your newly spruced up garden, or better yet, have a barbecue with the family. There are only a couple of months until summer so make sure you get out and start soon!
Health considerations in the garden
Some physical, mental and age-related conditions must be considered when older people work in the garden, but they should not prevent people from enjoying the outdoors. Once you’re out in the garden, you must remember that as you get older, your body may not work at the same pace it used to. You also may not be able to stay out in the sun for as long, as able to bend for long periods of time, or lift heavy items. You may also have a medical condition or physical disability, here are some adjustments you can make to your garden.
To ease strain on the back and joints you could use upright planting spaces such as a wall, hanging basket or a trellis, this will help to avoid injury and will take up less floor space in your garden. In addition to this, you could have raised flower beds so when you do have to plant things such as veggies, you wont have to bend unnecessarily low. Be sure to use lightweight tools and move stuff around the garden in a wheelbarrow. In the summer, make sure you have access to shade and water, dehydration and sun burn can sneak up on you! Also put benches, chairs and tables within safe walking distance so you can always sit down when needed.
By making these changes to your garden and equipment, you may find that you will enjoy activities such as harvesting food, and growing flowers, and the crafts and hobbies associated with plants and food preparation.
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