The garden is one of the few places that many people would confess feeling truly ambivalent about. While it’s true that a beautifully maintained garden not only adds beauty and value to the home or community it graces, but also provides a sanctuary for nature lovers or serenity-seekers, what’s also true is that the very thought of having to clear, rake, seed, mow, aerate, fertilize, dethatch and water a garden or lawn tends to overwhelm the average person. The physical strains associated with a good day on the yard can be quite substantial and not to be dismissed lightly.
“Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness” is a recently published book that shows you not only how to create the perfect garden based on your needs but also how to do so in the safest possible way with minimal strain on your body while getting a good full-body workout in the process! Here is a Fitness Mantra Book Review of “Garden Your Way To Health And Fitness”. I am trying to standardize all future book reviews on Fitness Mantra and after referencing a lot of online examples and references, I have decided on this format. Please feel free to send me your comments and criticisms so I can improve on this.
Title: Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness
Author(s): Bunny Guinness and Jacqueline Knox
Publisher: Timber Press
Price (10/24/2009): US $14.96
Preview: On Google Books
Subject: Gardening, Health and Fitness
Theme: Minimizing injury while gardening; achieving good health and fitness from a well-designed garden
Thesis: Stretching and balancing oneself beforehand and using the right tools in the correct fashion while gardening will minimize the risk of injury and allow you to enjoy a beautiful, well-planned garden that can be a personal sanctuary as well as a place to exercise, stay fit and grow ornamental flowers or sustainable fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs.
Disclosure: I was sent one free copy of this book by the publishers to review. As always, please be assured of completely unbiased reviews on Fitness Mantra.
Review of Garden Your Way To Health And Fitness:
Bunny Guinness, a professional landscape designer and Jacqueline Knox, physiotherapist, come together to create a gardening book that also stresses the importance of ensuring correct posture and balance while in the garden.
The book begins with simple balancing techniques that one can perform even before beginning to garden and one can discern a lot of pilates movements in these exercises. Running the gamut from simple stretches to spine curls, side rolls and so called “diamond presses”, this eight-step routine is sure to get you in limber form before you begin your garden work. There’s even an aerobic section if you plan to do more strenuous gardening.
This is followed by a detailed chapter describing the virtually unlimited potential of a well-designed garden in giving you the workout you desire. The gardening-calorie-chart in the very begining of this chapter makes it clear: gardening work = calories-burned! Collecting grass or leaves for an hour? 260 calories. Chopping wood? 385! Interspersed with amazingly well-taken photographs, you are walked through dynamic workouts like squats, lunges and step-ups. You are also shown the proper techniques for various strengthening exercises.
From here, the authors shift to taking you to more “gardening oriented” material like choosing the optimal tools for safe work, maintaining proper posture while actually performig the various gardening procedures like trimming or moving a loaded wheel-barrow. Desiging the right kind of garden for your purposes follows with beautiful pictures of various functional elements you can think of adding: walkways, sleepers and even multiple-levels all come together to create the perfect environment for your garden.
There is even information on creating ornamental and productive (as in giving you things to consume!) gardens in the end that round up this concise, yet compelling, book.
If there’s one aspect of this book that tends to stand out, it’s the outstanding collection of photos and pictures throughout the book giving you the very correct impression that these authors are genuine experts in their respective fields. Their combined knowledge of gardening and fitnessshines through in these pages and if you have ever considered spending any significant portion of your time in your garden, especially with the idea of getting a good workout in the process and/or growing your own food organically, Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness will be an excellent reference in your endeavour and come highly recommended.
If you have read or benefited from this book, I am eager to hear your own thoughts about it especially if you have implemented some of the more functional aspects of their garden-designs that lean toward health and fitness. Also, I would like to know if this book-review format is to your liking and what, if any, changes you would like to see in it. Please feel free to sound off in the comments!