We are always told that keeping active can help to reduce stress and also make us healthier, this is particularly important for people over the age of 60 to help prevent many illnesses associated with old age, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Gardening is a great way for people to get outside, be active and relax while doing something productive and worthwhile. A recent study shows that older people are not getting enough vigorous exercise, and advises that people over the age of 60 should try to get around 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
What is so good about Gardening for Keeping Active?
Whether it is getting your hands dirty sowing seeds, mowing the lawn or using a weed eater to keep the weeds at bay, gardening will get you moving, raise your heart rate and help you release endorphins, or “feel good” hormones. The most strenuous garden work no doubt involves digging by hand of any sort, whether planting a sapling, or digging hole for a gate post.
This sort of activity will get the heart beating faster and will get most people sweating. Even mowing the lawn or carrying around a weed eater will give similar results, all of which in moderation can have many positive effects on a person’s health. I would recommend that if you have any kind of back pain that you avoid activities that will put you at risk of making the condition worse e.g. bending over a flower bed or heavy lifting.
Growing your own Vegetables
Not only can you keep fit by doing regular work in the garden you can also grow a huge variety of vegetables and other food that will also benefit your health and could make you a bit of cash too. Health advisors recommend that adults should eat 7 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, if you can achieve this then you are much less likely to get ill and it can significantly extend your lifespan.
Gardens are also places where people who may have lots of stress in their life can put everything to the back of their minds and just get back to nature. Too much stress in our everyday lives is bad for our health, it’s ok to be stressed sometimes, but if you find that you are stressed 24/7 then this can have serious impacts on your long-term health. For example if your sleep is being affected then you should really look at making some changes to your life to reduce the amount of time you are stressed out, and making time for some gardening could really help you unwind and take your mind off things.
Give it a try
Gardening is not for everybody, especially if you don’t have your own garden or an allotment then it’s going to be difficult to get started, but for those people who may be retired and perhaps are spending more time in bed or sat on the sofa then it could be a lifesaver.