Woman pruning magnolia tree

Did you know that gardening can reduce the risk of strokes by 30%? This is particularly important for seniors, who are at increased risk of heart problems. This is especially true if they lead a sedentary lifestyle in retirement. It is important in retirement to find ways of naturally boosting your morale, as well as looking after your physical and emotional health. Gardening offers a way of accommodating all these needs and has the added advantage of playing an important part in sustainable living.

Gardening is kind on the wallet

One challenge of retirement is living within your means with all the extra free time you have. Luckily, gardening can be a very economical pastime as a retiree. Depending on the size of your backyard, an in-ground garden used for fruits and vegetables can feed the family for up to two-thirds of the year. The initial setup comes to $100-$200 and there are plenty of cost-effective options when it comes to deciding on what to grow. Planting beans, peppers, and tomato seeds, for example, is low in cost and a good starting point for beginners. These are also good sustainable choices and relatively low maintenance.

Gardening is good for your health

Studies show that thirty minutes of gardening significantly reduces stress. This is due to the positive impact of being outdoors, which naturally boosts morale. What is more, gardening provides a very good cardiovascular workout. All that bending, reaching, and twisting will help build your stamina and flexibility, working your heart in the process.

It's great for the environment

Not only can gardening be good for your physical and emotional wellbeing in retirement, but it is also environmentally friendly. Better yet, it can promote sustainable living. By making the most of sustainable techniques such as storing rainwater and reusing leaves for compost, your hobby can help you live more sustainably and continually teach you ways of reducing your carbon footprint. What is more, with one in three American households now growing their own fruit and vegetables, you can be part of a national (and global) lifestyle trend that can have a positive impact on our planet.

Take to the garden in retirement

Retirement is an exciting time but it can also be quite a destabilizing one, particularly if you didn't plan it well. Fully embracing a new or old hobby can help you fill your free time productively. It can also help you feel good. These things are especially true of gardening. The physical and mental health benefits, as well as its positive impact on the environment, make it a very good choice of hobby in retirement.

by Jennifer Dawson

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