The sun is beginning to shine as we transition into the warmer days of summer. Whether you have a green thumb or are just looking for a new outdoor hobby, gardening is a skill that everyone can benefit from. 

Let’s dive deeper into the true benefits of gardening: 

Benefit #1: You know exactly where your food is coming from

If you’re planning on growing your own fruits, vegetables or herbs, you will know exactly what you’re putting into your body. No pesticides or genetically modified foods, just fresh produce that you can incorporate into a variety of healthy meals. 

Summer is one of the best times to grow your own produce, as this is the season to plant and harvest a wide variety of food. Some good plants and vegetables to start with include potatoes, tomatoes, and sunflowers. 

Benefit #2: You can boost your health and mood

An article produced by BBC News referenced a Dutch study that found that those who gardened outside had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Gardening also takes creativity, mental focus and mindfulness, all shown to help combat the stress and anxiety we are all so accustomed to. 

In addition, gardening outside also increases your exposure to Vitamin D, which increases your calcium levels and therefor benefits your bones, immune system, heart and lungs. Exposure to Vitamin D in moderation is great for your health — just don’t forget to apply sunscreen to protect your skin. 

Benefit #3: You get exercise 

Gardening is truly a full body workout. As you age, incorporating gardening into your everyday routine is an excellent way to stay active. 150 minutes of exercise per week is the recommended amount; gardening is a perfect solution to ensure you keep yourself moving. Digging up soil, planting seeds, and making the rounds to water your plants keeps you active and flexes muscles you might not normally use. 

Benefit #4: You can be social 

Gardening can be done on your own or with a group, such as a community garden. Community gardens can be a fun way to engage with others while providing a benefit to the neighborhood. 

Regular social interaction is a key component to living a longer, healthier life. Communal gardening is a great way for those who struggle to find socialization opportunities to stay connected with others. Finding a shared activity is one of the best ways for seniors to break out of their comfort zone and get involved with their peers.

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At Prestige Senior Living High Desert, gardening is a frequent part of our Celebrations lifestyle and wellness programming, which focuses on activities that engage our residents’ mind, body and spirit. To learn more about our Celebrations program, call us at (541) 312-2003, or visit us online at prestigecare.com