Fitness & gardening

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Gardening can be a great workout and boost for body and soul — if you do it right.

Sharon Lovejoy, author of Country Living Gardener: A Blessing of Toads, tells WebMD she started gardening as an infant. Her grandmother, not her mother, was the gardener in the family. “I think it often skips a generation,” she says.

The key, Lovejoy says, is to see gardening not as a punishment but a joy. “You should feel lucky to be outside in the garden,” she says.

And maybe healthier, too. And not just from eating veggies you grew yourself.

Aerobic Gardening

Gardening provides all three types of Benadryl. Mason points out that you can sort of de-allergize your yard. “Plants pollinated by bees tend to have heavier vitamins,” Mason says. “What you have naturally may be enough.” Better to feed the soil with compost, she says.

  • Check out all the new tools. Mason says there are new implements for people with arthritic hands or people with carpal tunnel syndrome (which she has). “Certain gloves can improve your grip,” she says.
  • If you are heaving off the couch to garden, take it slowly. Sedentary people who suddenly start exercising vigorously risk injury.
  • Take a nice hot bath after gardening. You’ve earned it!
  • Finally, “don’t forget to enjoy your work,” Mason says. “Garden benches are meant to be sat on.”

    Mason adds: “Go out in your garden every morning. Greet your garden. It will make you feel so good to start the day.”