Older adults who take up the healthy hobby of gardening are proven to gain more energy and vitality in their later years, and the good news is, residents of The Avenues Crofton Park’s apartments and cottages don’t need much help to get started.
Driven by resident demand, The Avenues has a community garden that produce greens and vegetables for residents and local community events. We also have a popular resident gardening club that is active in the spring and summer.
Here, we’ve put together a list of gardening’s physical, psychological and cognitive perks for independent living residents who are considering taking up the hobby or need motivation to get back in the dirt this spring.
Gardening keeps you physically fit
Gardening has been proven to help reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease and to control high blood pressure by increasing exercise and activity levels. It also burns up to 300 calories per hour, while eating the nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables you grow helps save calories, too. According to the American Journal of Public Health, men and women who garden are less likely to be overweight or obese than those who don’t. The activity of gardening also helps decrease the effects of osteoporosis via repetitive movements that strengthen your joints and bones.
Gardening improves your psychological wellness
Gardening is a meditative activity that helps you clear your mind and serves as a potent stress reliever for many who practice it. Dutch researchers found that a half-hour of gardening helped subjects combat stress better than another popular leisure activity: reading. Gardening also positively affects blood pressure, cortisol levels and inflammation, since stress and anxiety negatively affect hormones and increases the risk of disease. It can also be a source of anger management, foster confidence and bestow a sense of purpose that helps fend off depression and anxiety.
Gardening offers cognitive benefits
Older adults who try gardening also tend to realize significant positive effects on their cognitive skills. Taking care of a garden provides a rich experience with sights, smells and sounds that increase relaxation and enhance sensory perception. And, a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia that followed people in their 60s and 70s for up to 16 years found that gardeners had a 36% lower risk of developing dementia than non-gardeners, even when the analysis accounted for other health factors.
At the Avenues Crofton Park, an award-winning 55+ independent living community in Broomfield, residents can tend our vegetable garden and share the bounty of the harvest throughout the spring and summer. To learn more about The Avenues’ gardening culture and resources for gardeners on campus, give us a call at 720-799-0915.