As senior couples age, it can become difficult to get out and do activities they enjoyed in their earlier years. Mobility becomes a challenge for many older adults and they often look for ways to stay active at home. Getting outdoors is essential for a senior’s health, and gardening is an excellent outdoor hobby older couples can do together that happens to provide significant health benefits.
Seniors can enjoy staying physically active by gardening
Staying active as an older adult is often challenging. However, it is important to maintain one’s strength and agility in the later years, and this is where gardening can be the perfect fit. The CDC recommends that seniors get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each week along with muscle-building activity at least two days a week. Luckily, seniors can accomplish these activity goals in one fell swoop with gardening.
Gardening burns plenty of calories as it builds muscle strength and endurance, but seniors can reap other physical health benefits as well. Gardening Gone Wild notes that this hobby can reduce one’s stroke risk and it can reduce the likelihood of getting heart disease and osteoporosis. Senior gardeners may find that their blood pressure is better controlled thanks to this hobby and their overall mobility will likely improve too.
A senior’s mental health and brain power improves with gardening too
Older adults often deal with depression and anxiety, and research shows that gardening can reduce those issues. For example, Interim Health Care explains that even moderate amounts of time in the garden can reduce the stress hormone cortisol and elevate one’s mood. Getting regular activity outdoors can do wonders for a senior’s mental health and these improvements can help strengthen a senior’s relationship with their partner too.
Learning a new hobby is great for brain stimulation and NCBI shares research demonstrating that gardening can significantly reduce the risk of dementia. For those seniors who are already experiencing dementia, gardening can decrease their levels of anxiety and agitation. Gardening with a partner allows for critical social engagement along with brain stimulation and this helps a couple stay sharp and engaged.
Gardening sparks renewed connections for seniors
AARP details that couples who last succeed in part because they find new ways to enjoy their time together. It is easy to get in a rut of doing the same thing day after day, especially as one ages. However, working together to create a healthier lifestyle and trying a new activity together can do wonders to strengthen a relationship. Gardening certainly fits the bill in this scenario.
For those couples no longer living on their own, Civil Eats notes that community gardens at nursing homes and senior centers have become quite popular and these work well to keep seniors engaged with one another. Urban gardens like these bring expert and novice gardeners together to find success as a team and they are great at sparking new social connections. In addition, some facilities may find that they can build a solar greenhouse on the premises that can keep their seniors gardening year-round.
A key way to keep senior relationships strong as life shifts in the older years is to stay active as a team. Older adults may not be able to be on the go very easily, but they can tackle gardening as a pair and realize numerous health benefits together as a result. Gardening serves to strengthen the connection between two people and spark socialization, and it improves a senior’s overall brain strength, mental wellness, and physical health.
Author: Maria Cannon