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Gardening – Safe and Easy

Working in the garden may be a popular hobby, but it can lead to absolute misery if you don’t take a few precautions. Want to lose a toe? Mow in flip flops instead of practical shoes.

Think all of those heavy metal concerts put a dent in your hearing? Well, if you don’t wear ear plugs when you’re playing with the leaf blower, you could do even more damage.

The idea is to play in your garden while getting some exercise and fresh air, not aches and pains — or worse. The Centers for Disease Control offers up  gardening health and safety tips, but when it comes to tools, I’ve got some practical advice for you, too.

The right tool for the job:

You don’t live in the flatlands, so you know the exertion that comes with pushing a lawnmower up hills, then the sheer terror of white knuckling the thing as it free falls.

You can make this inevitable chore much easier on yourself with an all-wheel drive lawnmower like the tough Husqvarna HU800AWD. This powerhouse is designed to glide over hills, as well as uneven and damp terrain. The walk mower is available at most Lowe’s.

Husqvarna HU800AWD features All-Wheel Drive for smooth mowing.

Husqvarna HU800AWD features All-Wheel Drive for smooth mowing.

If you have a touch of arthritis or just want to give your hands a break when gardening, check out the array of ergonomic gardening tools available at most big box home improvement stores. Look for Fiskars PowerGear tools at Home Depot, and the three-piece Ergo Gel Grip hand tool set at Lowe’s. These allow you to do more work with less strain.

And, really, who hasn’t spent hours kneeling in the garden only to get up with aching knees and a sore back? Give yourself a break with a garden kneeler and bench combo. I don’t mean that flimsy strip of foam that crushes your plants. I’m talking about folding padded kneelers that can be used as benches when they’re not offering up a soft spot for your knees, with some breathing room for plants and grass below. Amazon offers several models.

For an array of gardening tools endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation, check out the Ease-Of-Use website.

Do you have a favorite tip or tool that makes playing in the garden a little easier? We’d love to know.

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