The Surprising Health Benefits of Gardening

Gardening-Outdoor-Activities

For many hobbyists, gardening provides a way of reconnecting to a simpler time and enjoying the great outdoors. But research has shown that gardening also offers some real health benefits for seniors. At The Cypress of Charlotte, we’re huge believers in the power of gardening to heal body, mind and spirit. The evidence backs us up!

Higher Satisfaction with Life

A study from Texas A&M and Texas State universities looked at satisfaction with life among seniors who garden versus those who don’t. Researchers found that older adults who engaged in gardening showed much higher rates of satisfaction with their lives.

In fact, 84 percent of gardeners noted that they had made plans for activities to occur a month or a year later. Of the non-gardeners, only 68 percent had made such plans. In addition, gardeners reported having higher energy levels than those who don’t engage in gardening.

Boosting Physical Activity

We can attest that seniors who participate in gardening get more physical activity each day compared to seniors who aren’t into gardening. We see it here at The Cypress on a daily basis — especially in the spring, summer and fall, when our raised bed garden is in full bloom. After evaluating Charlotte senior living communities, seniors who love gardening choose The Cypress, which provides all the planting resources residents need to grow flowers or delicious vegetables.

Cypress raised garden

Researchers report that seniors who garden report a significantly higher amount of physical exercise each day. In one study, more than three times as many non-gardeners as gardeners classified themselves as “quite inactive.” At the same time, nearly twice as many gardeners viewed themselves as “very active.”

More than three-quarters of the gardeners surveyed said their health was “excellent” or “very good,” and they reported consuming more fruits and vegetables as the result of their gardening hobby. At The Cypress, our gardeners certainly enjoy the bounty of their efforts and share them with others.

Fighting Dementia

The increased physical activity that’s strongly associated with gardening also may help reduce the risk of developing dementia, some research has found. In two studies that followed people in their 60s and 70s over a number of years, researchers found that subjects who participated in gardening on a regular basis had a risk of dementia up to 47-percent lower than in subjects who didn’t garden. The numbers held even when other health factors were considered, researchers reported.

The findings suggest that, taken together, the physical and mental efforts involved in gardening might positively influence mind health. For seniors who are already seeing declines in cognition, even walking in a garden may provide therapeutic benefits. For everyone, spending time in a garden — with its enticing fragrances and feasts for the eyes — can help lower stress and encourage relaxation.

If you’re looking for senior living communities in Charlotte, NC, where you’ll be able to show off your green thumb, consider a visit to The Cypress of Charlotte! To schedule a tour or for more information, please contact us.