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Gardening Might Improve Your Mobility As You Age

A woman watering a vegetable garden.
goodluz/Shutterstock

In 2020, there was a major boom in gardening. After all, everyone was pretty much stuck at home. However, according to one study, in addition to being a rewarding hobby, gardening might help you remain more mobile and independent as you get older.

The study tracked the exercise of 5,735 women over age 63 with accelerometers (devices that monitor the body’s acceleration rate) over seven days. The amount of time they spent engaged in light activity averaged out to five hours per day.

Armed with this data, researchers then continued to observe the women over the next six years. They found that those who participated in light exercise (like gardening) had a 46% less chance of losing mobility as they got older.

What this means for women in their 60s is that common activities, like walking, washing dishes, and yes, even gardening, all help prevent mobility loss. As a result, they can also retain their independence later in life.

In addition to the physical benefits of gardening, the hobby is also good for mental health. Studies have shown it’s comparable to reading when it comes to relieving stress. Plus, because gardening means you also get fresh air and sunshine, you also get a healthy dose of vitamin D to boost your mood.

If we just gave you a new reason to start a garden, plant these flowers to attract bees and butterflies to your yard this spring.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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