Being active and eating healthy are essential for people of all ages, but can greatly increase the quality of life for the elderly. Finding activities that elderly are interested in, are not hard on their bodies, and is still active enough to reap the benefits can be challenging. Walking, yoga, swimming, or painting, are hobbies that can be done at any time of day and a great for the body. Gardening is also a fantastic way for elderly to get involved in something that is healthy for their bodies, will keep them focused on the task, and is also emotionally good for them. When you’re looking for unique activities to keep you motivated and your body moving, give indoor gardening a shot. Here’s why.
- Even in small spaces, gardening can improve flexibility and mobility when using your hands to plant new seeds and weed around the growing plants. When elderly don’t have daily meetings or outings with friends, it can be hard to keep moving; gardening will give them something to look forward to.
- The act of gardening can be a whole body workout. Sitting down and standing up to reach plants on the ground, or reaching up to water hanging plants lets the whole body get involved in gardening.
- Just like petting a dog can be emotionally satisfying, so can tending a garden. Going through the motions of putting dirt in a pot, planting seeds, watering, and weeding can be therapeutic.
- Arthritis is a common illness for the elderly, but by using and exercising the hands, it can combat the aches and pains.
- Being outside, whether it’s in a large garden, or simply on the patio with large planters and hanging plants can be refreshing. Feeling and breathing in the fresh air and working with plants outside is a wonderful form of therapy.
Working on a garden means you have vegetables and flowers as well as gaining mobility and strength through planting and weeding. Vegetables that can be grown in a garden also provide nutrients that are wonderful for elderly bodies.
Carrots - It might be surprising for non-gardeners, but carrots can be grown indoors with the right gardening supplies and materials. Be sure to use a pot that is deep enough to accommodate the growing vegetables. Use a potting soil with compost that will give the plant the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong. Carrots are also a great source for vitamin A, which promotes healthy vision and a healthy immune system.
Leafy Greens - Greens like spinach or romaine lettuce require a lot of light, so put pots outside or near a bright window. However, they also don’t perform well when temperatures are too high. The variety of spinach, Catalina works well when grown indoors. Leafy greens are also a great source of vitamin A.
Tomatoes - Tomatoes need sun, heat, and enough space to grow. Use the same potting soil with compost to start seeds and transplant the seedlings into larger pots as they grow. Keep the soil most as the plants grow to prevent cracked fruit. Tomatoes are a great source for vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
Strawberries - One of the best plants for indoor container gardening, strawberries need a sunny location for at least six to eight hours of sunlight. They prefer a soil with a lower pH, so this Acidic Potting Soil Mix will work wonders. Strawberries also love fertilizer, so try this Feather Meal Fertilizer, but don’t overuse it. Strawberries are a great antioxidant, are high in vitamin C, magnesium, and fiber.
When you’re looking for a way to be active and keep healthy but want to be gentle on your body, give gardening a shot! Your body will appreciate the therapeutic act of working with dirt and will love the fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown. Shop our garden supply store for all of the potting soils and fertilizers you need.