To asking "How can I stay in good shape as I garden or get in shape in order to garden more?" B.H. did this, requesting, "an article with advice on physical fitness for gardeners, or at least a few do's and don'ts..."
The longer we garden, the more we relate to what our mentor, Curt Pickens said one spring day,
Oh why didn't we do this last fall when I was younger and in better shape?!
So here's our starter list, which we've posted at the Forum to attract more input. Something we've noticed is that a great many people in the medical profession go in for gardening in a big way. We bet the Member-medicos at the Forum will bring a lot to this discussion! We'll listen ad we're always learning new cautions.
Many people are have skin that reacts to the oils in juniper, pine and spruce. Some see a minor rash for a day or so. Others will show that level of injury (below) for a few minutes or an hour, but then see it turn into angry red welts that last for for days.
Note the difference between the skin at the wrist (arrow), which had been covered by the cuff of a glove, and what had been bare while stuffing spruce into yard waste bags.
Even a person who thinks "I'm not allergic, I never have reacted to that" should cover up rather than subject their skin to exposure, because a body can develop a sensitivity even after many years. It's as if every person has a pre-set limit to what they can take and the skin accumulates the offenses until that point is reached.
As a for-instance, we know a 50 year old man who suddenly reacted to poison ivy. He exhibited symptoms so severe he had to be rushed to the hospital. He had never had any reaction before that time, even though he had 20 years experience in a field that brought him into frequent contact with poison ivy.
Staying healthy involves learning for a lifetime. We always listen for new tips and cautions, like those below. If you have others, take them to the Forum and post them.
Fungus-y fall leaves put a catch in your throat
We have sometimes heard, "Enough! Or I will be afraid to set foot outside!" We understand that looking at a long list of potentially hazardous actions and substances can be daunting. However, we have always been grateful for such a list when we recognize something odd in our own reactions or feelings. "Oh, is that what this might be!!"