Discover How The Science Of Gardening For Health Benefits The Mental And Physical Well-being Of You And Your Loved One
Are you or your loved one thinking of starting a garden? Growing something green benefits your well-being in many ways. Pegasus senior care specialists in Mount Washington and elsewhere understand the science of gardening for health.
Exercising and eating well is essential for achieving and maintaining good health. Gardening provides exercise, time in life-giving sunshine, and tasty food that you grow yourself.
The manual effort of tending to a garden is good for your cardiovascular system. It also makes achieving a healthy weight a little easier in an enjoyable way. You may experience an overall increase in strength, especially in your hands and upper body.
Gardening Improves Mental Health
Doing something physical is a traditional stress-buster. Research has proved that gardening helps relax and calm you. Additionally, it plays a part in alleviating depression.
Individuals who feel unneeded can improve their self-esteem with gardening. After all, growing a plant is an accomplishment. Whether flower or food, you have created something that didn’t exist before.
Gardening is a good cure if you or your loved one are beset by perfectionism. Sure, you can plant in tidy rows, but you can’t control the weather or pests. You gain a sense of freedom because there is no “right way” to garden.
Research shows that gardening benefits individuals with dementia. Working with plants and soil provides a sense of comfort for many. They experience the same healthful benefits as others, with reduced:
- Need for antipsychotic medication
Being around greenery and touching it is healing. Caregivers have noticed that gardening improves the attentiveness of dementia patients.
Growing flowers adds beauty to your surroundings. As well as visual attractiveness, many flowers are fragrant. The stimulation of your senses makes a positive contribution to your well-being.
Your choice of plants provides much-needed habitat for a variety of wildlife. Although it might be indirect, you do benefit from helping creatures survive. As a bonus, they add color and activity to your garden as they pollinate your plants.
Grow Food You Like
Growing fruits and vegetables is a significant part of gardening for health. You can harvest fresh produce for your meals as it matures. You have no worries about preservatives or contaminants.
The fruits and vegetables from your garden aren’t artificially ripened, so they are full of nutrition. They taste better. Commercial farmers often have to plant fast-growing or high-yield varieties.
You aren’t bound by those restrictions in your home garden. You can plant slower-growing or specialty varieties. In many instances, those have more flavor and nutrition.
You can avoid GMO, or genetically modified organisms, in your garden. Numerous companies sell organic seeds and seedlings. Many of these are heirloom varieties.
If you or your loved one can’t get outside to garden, try growing houseplants. Tending to them offers many of the health benefits that outdoor gardens provide. Additionally, houseplants freshen the indoor air.
Although indoor gardening typically features flowering plants, you can grow vegetables indoors. Many vegetables and herbs thrive in containers. Sprouts are a good choice if you don’t have a lot of space.
Another choice for indoor gardening is growing vegetables in water. Place trimmed scraps, like a carrot top, in a dish of water. Change the water frequently and enjoy fresh greens.
Take It Easy
Bending, lifting, kneeling, or other movements may demand too much from you or your loved one. Mobility and flexibility often decrease as a part of aging. That doesn’t mean you can’t garden.
You can start by planting in raised beds. Those can usually be constructed to a height that minimizes uncomfortable movement for you. Other tips include:
- Adding chairs and benches here and there to provide a place to rest or to admire what you’ve accomplished.
- Using trellises or other supports to grow your veggies and fruits vertically.
- Investing in an automatic watering system.
- Planting in lightweight containers and putting them on casters if necessary.
Start with a few plants or seeds. If you have enough stamina, gradually add more. Avoid overwhelming yourself and turning an enjoyable experience into stressful work.
Gardeners have an almost infinite number of shovels, trowels, rakes, and the like from which to choose. But what if those are difficult to use if you or your loved one has arthritis or a disability?
You don’t have to give up gardening for lack of comfortable-to-use tools. You can select from a wide selection of tools designed just for seniors. Most are ergonomic, which means they are designed for both efficiency and comfort.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our senior care professionals in Mount Washington and our other locations are dedicated to helping individuals stay healthy. They can assist with your garden and help you prepare the delicious food you grow.