Beyond saving a trip to the store, herb gardening can be a surprisingly powerful mechanism to combat stress, vitamin deficiencies, and mental wear. Of course, the yield of herb gardens isn’t bad for the palate either. Seniors can join in on herb gardening as well. Those achy bones and stiff joints aren’t a problem. In fact, herb gardening can soothe some of those worn down joints. So if you are a senior or you have a senior in your life, here are some of the benefits of grabbing a shovel and a watering can.
Seniors have difficulties getting the exercise that they need. Between arthritis, general pains and aches, osteoporosis, and overall aging, seniors often neglect exercising. Growing an herb garden can be a fantastic way to stretch those muscles. Having at least 2 ½ hours of light activity can relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis as well as stiffness associated with aging.
It seems obvious, but starting an herb garden is a cost-effective way of obtaining nutrient-rich foods. Herbs and vegetables play an important role in maintaining a balanced diet, not to mention herbs make food taste better.
Herb gardening can be used to combat stress. Gardening gets you in touch with nature while also allowing you to bask in a little sunlight to soak up that vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiencies cause a myriad of issues ranging from depression to sickness. Since seniors are at high risk for vitamin D deficiency, any opportunity to grab some sun is important.
Learning should be a lifelong pursuit. For seniors, lifelong learning is an important way to keep the brain engaged and combat mental wear and tear. Herb gardening teaches seniors about nutrition, watering times, types of plants, planting methods, and many more interesting botanical practices that engage the mind.
Herb gardening is an instrument for producing community. After all, gardens often produce higher yields than one person can consume. This can give seniors a way to share their crops with others, possibly gaining some friends or even companions in the process. Those with empty nest syndrome or fading social circles can benefit from the social aspect of gardening.
Aromatic plant oils, the sweet whiffs of fertilizer, the scent of the grass baking in the sun, all of these smells can improve the overall well being of seniors. Aromatherapy has been consistently linked to reduced stress levels and an ability to combat high blood pressure by lowering pulse, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
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