Don't let arthritis symptoms interfere with your favourite hobby. Here, 12 tips to make gardening more of a pleasure and less of a pain.

Wouldn't it be nice to spend all weekend in the garden? If you suffer from arthritis, your body may have different ideas. Pain and inflammation can make this favourite hobby quite a challenge, not to mention additional symptoms like fatigue and loss of mobility.

However, arthritis doesn't mean you have to hang up the shovel. In fact, physical activity is helpful for managing symptoms. With the right tools and know-how, you can make gardening more of a pleasure and less of a pain.


Here are some tips to help:

Warm-up. Even though gardening offers a workout, many people skip this important first step that helps prevent injury and stress. Before you dig in, take a short walk, walk on the spot for a few minutes and get in some gentle stretches.

Set manageable goals and priorities. As with housework or any ongoing activity, experts recommend planning ahead and spreading it out during the day and week. Start with the tasks that need the most attention -- like watering delicate plants or weeding the front garden -- and figure out what can wait, especially when the weather doesn't cooperate. Keep your to-do list manageable so you can meet your goals without aggravating your condition.

Reduce your workload with planning. Smarter planning can help reduce the workload later on -- such as employing irrigation systems to do the watering, laying mulch to retain moisture or using weed mats to deter unwanted plants. You can also choose lower maintenance plants that need less watering and attention, or opt for easier-to-handle seedlings instead of seeds. Perennials can also be a boon to your budget as well as saving you time and energy planting.

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Elizabeth Rogers