If you suffer from arthritis gardening may not be as easy as it once was. However, a few small changes to the way you work may mean you (and your garden) don't need to miss out.<p><p>Gardening is great exercise, but it's important to change tasks regularly and take breaks so you're not putting too much strain on any particular part of the body. Once we start on a job, the temptation is to finish it come what may. In fact it's healthier to do ten minutes of weeding for example, move on to a bit of pruning or digging, then return later.<p><p>Using easy grip tools can help too. These are better for the finger joints. They help to reduce strain and distribute impact so you can work more comfortably and help prevent long term damage.<p><p>For many people long handled tools make gardening more manageable. Being able to reach into the flower beds without bending puts less strain on the knees, back and hips. Get hold of a stable garden stool and you can even garden from a sitting position.<p><p>For those suffering with joint pain in their fingers, wrist and arms, using garden tools with ergonomic "pistol-style" handles and a supportive cuff can be an effective way to care for these hard-working areas. They help keep your wrist straight as you work and they encourage the use of your whole arm. This gives you increased strength and protects the wrist from impact or any unnatural twisting motion.<p><p>Whether your passion is for dahlias or daffodils, tomatoes or potatoes, following these simple guidelines and using the right sort of tools can mean years of happy gardening.