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4 Physical Benefits Gardening Offers the Elderly

Working in the garden can be fun for seniors, but this hobby can also lead to many crucial physical benefits. Westfield respite care experts want to share 4 ways gardening can significantly promote your senior loved one’s physical wellbeing.

1. Increased Hand Strength 

Using gardening tools can help your loved one increase his or her hand strength and pinch force, which are significant concerns for many seniors. When your loved one works in the garden, he or she will be mixing soils, filling pots, and taking care of other physical tasks. By constantly using the hands while gardening, your loved one can get a good amount of exercise as well. These movements and exercise can keep your loved one’s hands strong and nimble. 

2. Enhanced Cardiovascular Health 

Gardening can reduce your loved one’s risk of heart disease and stroke because being in the sun boosts vitamin D levels, and seniors who have low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop cardiovascular conditions. Working in the garden can also help your loved one get his or her heart pumping and blood circulating. Encourage your loved one to move around while working in the garden so the session can have a more significant impact. 

3. Reduced Risk of Diabetes 

Working in the garden can help your loved one stay in shape, lowering his or her risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By constantly moving and lifting pots, plants, and gardening tools, your loved one is getting the exercise he or she needs to normalize blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, burn calories, and maintain a healthy weight.

4. Greater Bone Density 

Seniors begin to lose their bone density and mass as they age, but gardening can help reduce these concerns. If your loved one gardens at least once a week, his or her bone density may increase. Gardening can be a tough workout because it combines strength training and yard work. When your loved one works in the garden, he or she is doing a lot of bending, lifting, walking, squatting, and standing. All of these movements add up to a great workout over time, building bone density in the process.

Whether it’s gardening or another physical activity, getting regular moderate exercise is crucial for people over 65. If your loved one needs help staying physically active, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist with mobility and exercise, and they can also help with many other important tasks like meal prep, bathing, and grooming. For more information on elder care Westfield seniors and their families can count on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 today.