4 Reasons Gardening Is Good Exercise for the Elderly

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4 Reasons Seniors Should Try Gardening for Exercise

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on June 6, 2016

Gardening provides many benefits for seniors, but the physical exercise involved can lead to some significant effects within a reasonable time frame. Scottsdale in-home caregivers discuss 4 reasons using gardening as exercise can help your elderly loved one remain healthy. 

1. Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Participating in physical activity is one of the most important things seniors can do to keep their hearts healthy. By working in the garden, your loved one is strengthening his or her heart and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Working in the garden helps your loved one move muscles and get the moderate exercise he or she needs to lower blood pressure, which could prevent heart disease or a stroke. 

2. Prevents Diabetes

Seniors are at a higher risk of developing diabetes due to decreased physical activity, which makes them likely to gain more weight and develop unhealthy eating habits. However, exercising in the garden can help your loved one burn calories, which can prevent him or her from gaining a lot of weight and being diagnosed with diabetes. Due to the moderate physical activity that comes with gardening, this exercise can help your loved one lose weight and prevent or delay the progression of the disease.

3. Strengthens Bones

Working in the garden can help your loved one prevent osteoporosis. When your loved one plants food and flowers, he or she is building muscle and endurance. Since gardening is considered a weight-bearing activity, it can help increase your loved one’s leg and foot support because his or her weight is not being held up by an object or water, which makes it a great activity for boosting bone health.

4. Boosts Cognitive Function 

Gardening can also help your loved one reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Working for at least 30 to 60 minutes in the garden is equivalent to walking a few miles. As your loved one is digging, weeding, and doing other things to help grow the garden, he or she is also getting the exercise needed to increase blood flow to the brain, which enhances memory and slows cognitive decline.

At Home Care Assistance, we consider physical activity an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Through our proprietary Balanced Care Method, we encourage exercise and other healthy lifestyle factors that have been shown to lead to longer and healthier lives. For more information on in-home care Scottsdale, AZ, seniors and their families can rely on, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 480.448.6215 today.