It's no secret that working in the garden is an all-around health booster: along with the emotional rewards gardeners glean from carving out a bit of personal space in the sunshine, all of those hours spend weeding, raking, digging, and lifting serve to increase stamina, build muscle tone, and burn calories. Yet all too often gardeners complain of aches and pains because their bodies are thrown off balance, and sometimes even seriously injured, by all of the bending, lifting, and kneeling that gardening involves. Fortunately, help is at hand as garden designer Bunny Guinness joins forces with physiotherapist Jacqueline Knox in this one-stop guide to all-around garden health. Step-by-step sequences based on the Pilates method illustrate the safe way to push wheelbarrows, lift heavy pots, pick low-lying fruit, and much more in a way that boosts fitness benefits while avoiding stresses and strains. Because a health-promoting garden should be thoroughly in tune with the gardener's lifestyle, the authors also detail a wealth of tactics for achieving beautiful gardens that require a range of exertion levels. They describe planting designs that are best for time-pressed gardeners, how to use daily garden maintenance regimes to stay active, and how to design a custom 'outdoor gym'. Illustrated sequences guide gardeners through physical exercises to suit their fitness levels, using trees, balance beams, benches, and other props. Looking after oneself is also key to good garden health. To this end, a comprehensive guide to growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs, a rundown of the best gardening clothes and ergonomic tools, tips for preventing and treating common ailments, and guidelines for winding down the healthy way complete this indispensable resource.
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