With spring now in full swing, it’s the perfect time to get outside in the garden.

Gardening is not only a fun activity for all abilities to enjoy, it’s great for your health too. Here are just a few reasons why:

Vitamin D exposure

Vitamin D is a crucial component of healthy aging. Gardening outside in the sun exposes older people to a natural source of vitamin D. While this is good news, it’s also important to ensure that protective measures are taken to avoid the dangers of exposure to sunlight and problems with dehydration.

Improves mental health

While gardening has many physical benefits, it can also positively impact your mental health. After all, science has proven that people are happier in nature. For those who experience depression, which is more common as we age, their mood can improve when they come into contact with soil. When people inhale a certain bacterium that lives in the soil, it increases serotonin levels and reduces anxiety.  Sun exposure during time gardening can help regulate the body’s circadian rhythms – our internal clock that influences sleep patterns.

Gardening also allows you to focus on something that will give you a feeling of true achievement. There’s nothing more rewarding than watching something you have planted grow and blossom into something beautiful.

Stimulating

Gardens are sensory places where the scenery is constantly changing. Herbs and flowers in summer and crisp golden leaves in autumn can be very stimulating. Gardens can be home to colourful flowers, aromatic herbs and even feeding stations for visiting birds.

Encourages physical movement

As we get older it becomes more important than ever to make sure that physical movement is a part of life. Gardening works all of the major muscle groups. This makes it a good way for older people to continue with the aerobic and strength building exercises they need to stay mobile, helping prevent falls and encouraging independence.

Keeps you busy

Being retired sounds great when you’re young, but when your kids are all grown up and you don’t have a job that takes up most of your time, you start to wish for some variety in your lifestyle.

Gardening can be an everyday solution to boredom and add some variety to an otherwise monotonous daily life.

These benefits of gardening for seniors provide plenty of motivation for your parents or grandparents to take up gardening as a hobby. If your loved ones are looking to take up a new pursuit in their free time, gardening would be a great suggestion. Work with them to find out what they’d be interested in growing, and determine the scale and scope at which they want to participate.