One of the best things about retirement living is having the time and space to do the things that make you happy. For some, this means more time with family and friends, while others enjoy travelling and experiencing new places.
But for an activity you can do every day, without leaving home and with little to no cost, gardening is hard to beat.
Not only is gardening an enjoyable way to spend your time, it’s also great for your health.
Here we discuss why it’s good for you and give some tips to help you make the most your time in the garden, and keep on gardening longer…
Gardens Get You Moving
While health advice for seniors changes over time, and diet and fitness fads will come and go, there is one thing that experts have always agreed on – getting active is good for your health.
For over 55s this is especially important, and gardening provides the perfect opportunity to do it in an enjoyable way. Although it’s relaxing, keep in mind that gardening is a form of exercise, so before you begin each session, take a few minutes to warm up your body with some stretches to reduce the risk of injury.
Gardening tasks like mixing soil, planting out seeds and watering your patch help strengthen the muscles in your hands, while pulling up weeds is not only satisfying, it also gives your upper body muscles a good workout. Lifting mulch gets those lower body muscles moving and raking works your whole body – which is why an afternoon in the garden is a pretty good workout!
Gardens are Good for Your Mind
It’s no secret that spending time outdoors makes you feel good – and gardening gives you the perfect excuse to get outside every day. There’s something immensely rewarding in caring for your own patch, especially if you grow your own fresh produce that you can later cook and enjoy.
Most people will tell you that spending time in the garden makes them feel peaceful and calm, and hospitals have found that being in a garden also assists those who are sick with the healing process. So even if you don’t feel like weeding every day, just sitting in your garden each morning with your cuppa, or passing the afternoon outside reading a book, is doing you lots of good.
Gardens Grow with You
As you get older, you often need to give up your favourite pastimes and hobbies because your body or mind is no longer able to keep up. But this is not the case with gardening – because you can set your own pace and level of activity, you can continue to garden well into retirement.
Your garden can also change as you do – where you once had a large veggie patch, as it becomes too much work you can replace it with a smaller, raised garden bed. Or if you once grew higher-maintenance plants such as roses, you might gradually replace them with low-maintenance natives. There’s endless possibilities of what you can do, which means there’s plenty of flexibility to create a garden that perfectly matches your ability, fitness level and motivation.
Gardening is the perfect pastime for over 55s – it’s good for your body, mind and soul. If you’re a seasoned garden you’ll know this – but if you’ve never been one for getting your hands dirty, it’s time to give it a try. Even if you don’t have much of a garden at home, there are community gardens in most areas that you can join, and they have the added benefit of meeting new and like-minded people. So, get out and discover your green thumb today.
Over to You
Are you a senior that loves to garden? We’d love you to share your tips with others in the comments section below.
Keen to know more about life at our little Traralgon Lifestyle Village? Download our information pack today and find out more about relaxing, independent over-55s living.