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In five short days, it will be spring!  Take advantage of the warmer weather, sunshine and longer days and spend time outside tending to your very own garden!  Gardening is a great activity for maintaining joint flexibility, bone density, range of motion, and quality of life. 

This article will provide you with gardening tips that will protect your joints while making the upkeep of a garden manageable and fun. 

Joint Protection Tips:

  • Garden at the time of the day you feel best.
  • Warm up with a brief walk and/or some stretching.
  •  Avoid working in the same position.
  • Switch tasks every 30 minutes and take a 15 minute break.
  • Take a warm bath or apply gentle heat or cold after gardening.
  • Get help from another individual if a task is too difficult.
  • Use your largest, strongest joints and muscles for tasks.

Arranging Your Garden:

  • Make sure your garden has a nearby water source so you do not have to carry watering cans far.
  • Keep your storage area or tool shed close to your garden.
  • Try arranging your garden in raised beds so you do not have to bend over as far.  These are also convenient places for you to sit. 
  • Choose lightweight pots.
  • If you have to work close to the ground, place one knee on the ground and keep your back straight or use a stool.
  • Weed your garden when the ground is wet.

Choosing the Right Products:  

  • Chose young plants so you do not need to deal with tiny seeds.
  • Plant shrubs and perennials so you do not have to replant them every year.
  • Ask about plants that require little care
  • Click here to see some helpful tools to use in your garden. 

Dig your hands into the dirt and enjoy the benefits of having your own garden in your backyard.  To receive more information on gardening, tools and Arthritis Foundation programs, please contact 717-763-0900.

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