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How Seniors Can Benefit Physically from Gardening

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Many Naples elder care experts believe gardening is one of the healthiest activities seniors can participate in. Getting out in the sun, being active, and reaping the tasty and nutritional benefits are all solid reasons why your senior loved one should consider gardening as a hobby. Here are some specific physical benefits he or she can gain

Vitamin D

New studies suggest nearly 75 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. For seniors, this vitamin deficiency can increase the risk of osteomalacia, heart disease, diabetes, and even certain forms of cancer. Spending just an hour or two a week gardening out in the sun is often enough to reverse this deficiency. Since seniors are at high risk of skin cancer, your loved one should always wear sunscreen on the head, neck, and arms whenever he or she goes outside.

Exercise

Many adults tend to lose interest in exercising as they grow older, simply because options such as walking on a treadmill or swimming a few laps can become repetitive. This is why so many health experts suggest outdoor activities like gardening for a fun and engaging way to get in some exercise. On average, light gardening burns between 200 and 400 calories an hour while engaging all of the major muscle groups.

Nutritious Food

Every senior’s diet should be filled with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Maintaining a small garden at home can provide your loved one with produce throughout the year no matter the climate he or she lives in. In addition to meeting all of their daily nutritional requirements, seniors who grow their own food can also avoid harsh pesticides and other chemicals used on commercial crops.

Flexibility, Mobility, and Balance

Falls remain the leading cause of injuries for seniors. One of the reasons these accidents are so prevalent is because many seniors have difficulty with mobility, flexibility, and balance as they grow older. Gardening can help stimulate cartilage repair, increase balance, and even slow the rate of muscle degeneration.

If your loved one could use some help managing a garden or with other healthy daily activities, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with mobility and exercise, nutritious meal prep, and much more. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care Naples seniors and their families can rely on. For more information and to schedule a free consultation with one of our friendly Client Care Managers, call (239) 449-4701 today.

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