Gardening good for hands and more

Getting out into the greenhouse and garden can help keep older people in shape, a recent study has shown.

Aside from keeping gardeners fit and healthy, gardening has been found to help boost the strength of the hands.

Researchers at Kansas State University found a marked difference between older people who garden and those who dont and professor of horticulture Candice Shoemaker explained that the benefits go beyond just the hands.

"One of the things we found is that older adults who are gardeners have better hand strength and pinch force, which is a big concern as you age," she said.

"Theres a lot of natural motivation in gardening. For one thing, you know theres a plant youve got to go out and water and weed to keep alive.

"If we get the message out there that older adults can get health benefits from gardening, theyll realise that they dont have to walk around the mall to get exercise."

UK gardeners may have been confined to their greenhouses this week as snow covered most of the country.