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BACKYARD ESCAPES WATER & WELLNESS

Spring/Summer 2012

Timeless Waters

Hydrotherapy Then & Now

Everyday Rituals Extraordinary Moments in Your Own Backyard

The Adventure Vacation Let your Imagination Run Wild Planting Native Plants p.16 Great Option for Small Spaces p. 26


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SPRING/SUMMER 2012

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BACKYARD ESCAPES

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8 Extraordinary Moments In Your Own Backyard

CONTENTS

10 Timeless Waters 12 The Adventure Vacation 14 Backyard Safety 16 What’s Old is New Again 18 A Tale of Three Barbecues 20 The Benefits of Backyard Exercise 24 Easy Summer Entertianing Hydrotherapy then and now

Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Simple Ways to Keep Your Family Safe

A Conversation on Planting Native Plants

Finding the right Grill for You

Printed and Designed in Canada by Repracorp Inc. 8927 Commercial St New Minas, NS B4N 3E1 (902) 681-4608 LeisureScapes Uxbridge, ON www.leisurescapes.com

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SPRING/SUMMER 2012 BACKYARD ESCAPES

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NOTES | OPENING LINES

Dear Readers, It is our hope that this edition of Backyard Escapes Magazine will inspire you to create something beautiful with your backyard. While how your backyard “looks” is an important part of the beauty we are talking about, how your backyard “functions” is even more important. The achievement of a great looking backyard will long be forgotten compared to the great lasting memories that can be made in a backyard. This was reaffirmed to me recently when someone shared with me a letter that they had received from a client. While I won’t re-quote the letter, I will say that the letter was from a daughter to a father expressing her gratitude to him for the memories he gave their family. He invested in a pool for their backyard, and while I am sure it “looked” great, its “function” of providing a medium to foster great family relationships, was definitely what had lasting value. Wouldn’t it be great to get a letter like that, showing appreciation for something positive you did for loved ones? From pools and hot tubs to patio covers and patio furniture there are many things you can do to create a special space and enhance your backyard. Have a beautiful summer! Kelly Devries

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DESIGN | BACKYARDS

Extraordinary Moments in Your Own Backyard For many, the highlight of the year is the family vacation or even the staycation – the growing trend of taking time off work to spend at home. And who can blame them? Vacations, in all their forms, are a time to spend with family, doing the things you love. They are a break from the monotony of everyday tasks.

They are a time of relaxation and reflection, a time when moments, and the subsequent memories created by them, are at their most vivid. But the problem with vacations? They are fleeting. So, what if there was a way to experience these exceptional moments on a weekly or even a daily basis? There is. One way to create these special moments is to create the special space in which to have them, and the perfect place to do so is right in your own backyard, literally. More and more people are embracing the idea of expanding their living space into the great outdoors. Regardless of budget, people are creating outdoor rooms: living rooms and dining rooms, playrooms and saunas, even outdoor showers. But these outdoor rooms are not just mere expansions of the interior space. They are not the place for laundry and homework, chores or emails; they are more than this. If you let them, these open-air rooms can be the setting of extraordinary everyday moments for your family and yourself. Creating an outdoor setting in which your family can enjoy these extraordinary moments can be as easy as adding a few small touches. Linda van Vulpen, Landscape Designer at Van Vulpen Design in Nova Scotia, suggests that even incorporating something as simple as an “umbrella can be quite effective in providing a degree of privacy and coziness” to your family space. As for the green touches that can make any outdoor space cozy, van Vulpen recommends “a strategically planted small ornamental tree to provide an overhead canopy.” You can also “divide an open space by erecting a division using a climbing structure easily purchased at a garden centre and install it in a container garden allowing vines to grow.”

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DESIGN | BACKYARDS That’s right! You can create organic walls to separate your different outdoor “rooms”. Having communal space outside is great for creating everyday moments on warm summer evenings and those lazy weekend afternoons, but if you can divide your backyard into rooms, why not create a space just for yourself? You’ve heard of a “man cave”, right? Well, women need something like that too. Virginia Woolf once said that a woman needs “a room of her own.” But she didn’t say it had to be inside. So, go ahead, women, creative a little garden nook of your own, with, as van Vulpen suggests, “a comfortable, attractive chair and small table to rest your book and coffee to make the space that much more inviting.” Who wouldn’t want to spend a moment everyday in that environment? Even preparing everyday meals can be extraordinary if the produce comes from you own garden. Van Vulpen sees “the return of the vegetable garden” as one of the biggest backyard trends. The garden, she explains, “has become an integral part of the outdoor living space. It is no longer required to be rectangular with straight rows of vegetables. It could be integrated into perennial gardens or it could be an attractive raised bed in an interesting form, with arbours and climbing structures – a destination in itself.” A new way of growing vegetables is emerging. Not only is your garden a place to grow the localest of local produce to keep your family healthy and teach your children about food production, the vegetable garden is now a contributing factor to the ambiance of your backyard. Picture heading out to the vegetable garden to pick your beans for dinner when you become lost in the wonder and beauty of the natural world. Extraordinary moments really can be found in the simplest and most practical moments of everyday life. Time, they say, is relative. This is especially true while on vacation when time passes extraordinarily quick and wondrously slow. When days are consumed by new sights and sounds, new tastes and adventures, it’s easy to feel fulfilled by time. But, whether you have an evening, a weekend, or just ten minutes in the morning before the rush of the day begins, this fulfillment can be found every day. Not that you would ever consider giving up your vacation time, but, if you can find these extraordinary moments on a daily basis, perhaps the need for that vacation will lessen. Now wouldn’t that be a great place to be?

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Timeless Waters Hydrotherapy Then and Now

Throughout history, humans have sought the calming, cleansing and transformative nature of warm water. When many of us think of baths in an historical context, the classical baths of ancient Greece and Rome often come to mind. There is a good reason for this. After all, they are the dawn of the Western world’s bathing culture.

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springs, like the ones in Banff and Radium, continue to attract thousands of visitors each year. But many people are choosing to create these timeless bathing experiences in their own home with hot tubs, saunas and backyard spas. In today’s health and wellness field, hydrotherapy is used in a variety of ways. As Nova Scotia physiotherapist, Shelley Fleckenstein, recounts, “During my time at the Nova Scotia Rehab Centre, I worked with people who had spinal and head injuries. In the water, my clients could do things they wouldn’t be able to do on land.” This is because the buoyancy of water helps to support body weight and reduces stress on joints. But the benefits of hydrotherapy are not only physical. Fleckenstein’s clients experienced an added benefit too: improved self-confidence. “People quickly realized they could do things in the water that they wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. It was an epiphany for them.” The benefits of a warm water soak are also multi-faceted. As Fleckenstein points out, “hot tubs stimulate circulation, reduce pain and muscle spasm and promote relaxation. It’s important to be mindful of the amount of time you spend in a hot tub though, especially if you have cardiovascular problems, but fifteen minutes in a hot tub is truly magical.” Water is, indeed, good for the body, mind and soul! When pressed to answer why immersion in warm water is magical, Fleckenstein paused and laughed. It’s easy to explain what happens to our bodies in water, but it’s harder to explain why it has such an effect on our mood. “In all its forms, water is soothing and tranquil,” Fleckenstein continues, “waterfalls mystify us, water sounds in music relax us, and on a winter’s night there’s nothing nicer than sitting in a hot tub with snowflakes falling on your eyelashes. It’s wonderful.” Take a browse through Greek Mythology and you will soon find reference to natural springs or tidal pools that were believe to be blessed by the gods and able to cure disease. Around these sites, Greeks built public bathing complexes where people would bring offerings to the gods in exchange for the healing provided by sacred pools. The father of modern medicine himself, Hippocrates (460-370 BC), is reputed to have prescribed bathing to his patients. He felt that the cause of our physical maladies was an imbalance of bodily fluids and that baths, along with perspiration, walking and massages, were needed to regain balance and obtain overall health. The Romans took the Greeks lead in building baths on natural hot springs, and, in the grand www.leisurescapes.com

Roman style, took it a step further, constructing lavish bathing arenas, some of which are reported to have held up to 3,000 bathers. Healing was an important aspect of the Roman experience, but just as often it was a social event. It was a place where business deals were conducted, courtships were started and pleasures of all varieties were undertaken. Does any of this sound familiar? No, you’re saying, I have never bathed with 3,000 others. While that may be true, peel back the layer of obvious differences between classical and modern culture and you’ll find that what draws humans to the comfort of warm waters remains the same. We still seek it to promote health, to soothe and lift our spirit, and, yes, we still seek bathing as a social experience. Natural hot

In the end, Fleckenstein touches on all the timeless aspects of human’s relationship with warm waters: health, spirit and social interaction. After all, one of the best reasons to have a hot tub is to spend time in it with family and friends. Today’s public bathing space looks vastly different from those in ancient Greece and Rome. Gone is the grandeur of lavish bathing complexes. Instead we prefer a cozy environment in the our own yards. But even with all these changes, the human yearning for the calming, cleansing and transformative nature of water remains the same.

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The Adventure Vacation Let your Imagination Run Wild

When I was young, one of my favourite songs to sing was “Going on a Lion Hunt”. In case you’re not familiar, the song narratives the obstacles and adventures encountered when a child goes on a “hunt”. “Uh-oh,” the song states, “there’s tall grass ahead. Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it. Better crawl through it.” Then you make a swooshing sound as if you’re making your way through the tall grass. It’s good fun. What I loved most about this song is that it didn’t just make me think about going on an adventure; when I sang this song I actually went on the adventure. As children, we have the ability to go away without leaving our rooms, houses or yards. Adults call this “imagination,” but when you’re a child, you don’t just imagine you are on an adventure, you are on an adventure. Even as an adult, however, you can re-learn how to get away, how to go on an adventure, without leaving your backyard. The desire for this kind of “escape” is the driving force behind the growing “staycation” trend.

time. Schedule start and end dates, and make rules, like no cell phones, no emails, no chores, whatever it takes to ensure that it’s a true getaway from the everyday. Now that your mind is ready to let go, here are a few recommendations on how to turn your staycation into an adventure:

The idea of a staycation has been around for a number of years. It gained popularity when the economy took a turn in 2008. These days it’s not only for the budget-minded; individuals, couples and families looking for a simpler, more relaxing holidays are also turning to the vacation-at-home.

Camp Out: Live the full camping experience in the backyard. This does not just mean pitching at tent, although that’s a good start. Try not to head indoors for anything. Cook supper outside, build a campfire where you can roast marshmallows and sing songs (“Going on a Lion Hunt” is a great campfire song), sleep in the tent with your family, and when you wake up in the morning, have breakfast outside too. Twenty-four hours without entering your house will have you seeing your backyard in a whole new way.

If you have ever travelled, you know it can be a lot of work. The planning, the paper work for passports, the packing, the driving or air travel, not to mention all the unplanned exploits. I have two words for you: Montezuma’s Revenge. There are times in life when all these inconveniences are worthwhile to see and experience another culture. But, for a simpler getaway, there are plenty of adventures to be had right in your own backyard.

Build a Tree House: Okay, this may not be the typical relaxing vacation, but it will be one of the most memorable experiences that you will have with your kids. They will not forget the vacation when mom and dad took out the hammer and nails to build a real fort. Once complete, haul up blankets, books, snacks and make it a space for a rustic getaway. The memories created here will be passed down in family stories for generations.

The first thing you must do when embarking on a staycation is get into the right mindset. One of the potential risks of staying at home for your vacation is that it’s too easy to check emails, stop into the office “briefly” and generally not vary your routine. It is important that you designate staycation time as special

Go for a Swim: When most families go on vacation, they often look for a hotel with a pool. However, many families are now choosing to invest in a backyard pool (and in backyard ambiance altogether) rather than spending money on a vacation. Nothing says holiday like playing with your kids in water and relaxing by

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the pool afterwards. And, in spirit of adventure, your kids will find nautical treasures and deep sea monsters just as easily in your backyard pool as they can at a hotel or exotic beach. While it is important to plan specific start and end dates for you staycation, within these dates

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it’s important to let the unexpected happen. Your kids will have no problem “imagining” an adventure in your own backyard. Perhaps the best thing to do is let them teach you how it’s done. After all, they’re the experts. Remember... take plenty of pictures, get dirty (and forget to do the laundry!) and have fun. Bon voyage!

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Backyard Safety 101 Simple ways to keep your family safe

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nce the warm weather hits, many families make the most of the season by spending countless hours in their own backyards. There are, however, some hazards that can turn this enjoyment upside down. So, as you head out for some fun in the sun, here are some safety tips to keep in mind. Sometimes the simple precautions are the most overlooked. One example: clean-up. After a day of gardening or tending lawn, and before you sit back for some R&R, it’s important to take the time to search for, pick up and properly store all the tools you used throughout the day. It’s also important to collect all toys once playtime is over. Cleaning up toys is an activity in which you can involve your children. Not only will it teach them their role in caring for the shared outdoor space, it also starts them thinking about the importance of backyard safety. Unfortunately one of the primary backyard hazards is also the source of a great deal of childhood pleasure: the home playground. Each year, too many children end up in the ER due to playground related injuries. While some of these injuries occur at school and other public parks, the sad fact is that many of them occur in the backyard. But don’t fret (too much, anyway!), because there are ways to help prevent these accidents. Cover the areas under your playground with a shock-absorbing material like mulch, rubber or sand and make sure it’s the appropriate depth; check your play unit for broken parts and cover all protruding bolts; plus, ensure that your equipment is age appropriate. Of course, for many parents, the source of the greatest anxiety when it comes to outdoor safety is the backyard pool. All bodies of water command the utmost respect, which is why pool safety needs to be the top priority for pool owners. The Red Cross reports that infants and toddlers aged one to four have the highest rates of drowning. But, as sad as that statistic is, there are ways to lessen the likelihood of a tragedy.

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While it (almost) goes without saying that adults need to supervise all children in the pool, at all times. Many people do not realize just how quickly a drowning can occur. A Red Cross study shows that nearly half of infant and toddler drowning deaths occurred when the child was alone. Drownings can occur in as little as ten seconds, which means pool time is a time to put aside multi-tasking. No phone calls, not quick text message and no running inside for anything. It’s not just your poolside presence that keeps children safe, as the Red Cross states, it’s vigilant supervision. Gates are also essential for in-ground pools. You’ve heard the saying “good fences make good neighbours”? Well, good fences also make safe families, especially when curious toddling feet are walking around. Remember, gates need to be self-closing and self-latching with latches that are above the reach of small children. One of the most important resources in keeping your children safe is… your children themselves, especially when they are older. Talk to you children clearly about the rules of the pool, and don’t just have this conversation when the pool is installed or at the start of summer; talk to your children throughout the season. Eyerolling and sighing aside, they are listening and your message will sink in. Know your pool and teach your children about it. Teaching children about the pool empowers them to be aware of their surroundings and be able to tell you if they think something is amiss, such as broken pool vents and unlatched pool covers. Childhood memories of summer last a lifetime. So take the first steps toward creating the happiest kind and ensure that safety in the backyard is your whole family’s number one priority.

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What’s Old is New Again A Conversation on Planting Native Plants

Lately, in the midst of our complex modern world, people have started to move towards simplifying their lives. We want to live more in the moment, get back to family and community, and buy local. Sure, we love to be one click away from connecting to the global network, but we’re also showing a heightened awareness of environmental concerns, and, as individuals, we’ve begun to feel that our own actions can make a difference. One possible way to do this is by planting native plants. “Native plants” is the term used to describe a plant that is indigenous to any given area. They are the plants that have grown on our land for many, possibly thousands of, years. Native plants can vary depending on your region, and more and more growers are seeking to incorporate native plants in their own gardens. Recently I asked Chet Neufeld, the Executive Director of the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan, why planting and growing native plants is so important. “Growing native plants is important no matter where you live,” he says, “because native plants and habitats are becoming increasingly scarce, and a lot of wildlife depends on these plants for food and shelter. Some butterflies in particular are adapted to certain native host plants. Monarch butterflies, for example, need milkweed. By having these host plants, you’ll ensure a food supply that might not otherwise exist. Also, by using native plants, you are promoting a truly green and sustainable industry and ensuring that what you grow in your yard doesn’t degrade our natural areas.”

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If you are interested in planting native plants, you may be asking, where do I begin? It’s easier than you might think. There are plenty of resources to utilize across Canada that can help get you started. “Find local sources of native plants and ask them for recommendations on what would grow best for your particular situation. Native plant retailers really know their stuff and are happy to share their knowledge. If you have trouble finding local experts, try contacting your provincial native plant society, nature society, garden club or university.” The key is, as Neufeld recommends, start small. “Gardening with native plants is no more work than gardening with regular horticultural plants. In fact, it’s less work and cost in the long run.” Did your mind perk up with that? He said less work and cost. Why? “Native plants are generally more pest tolerant, require no fertilizer and native prairie plants require little to no water. Because they’ve existed here for thousands of years, they’re very well adapted to local conditions.” That being said, native plant cultivation takes time and patience. In our world of instant gratification, this form of growing serves as a reminder that the old cliché is true: the best things come to those who wait. As Neufled says, “Many plants grow slowly in the first year or so and generally don’t bloom in their first season. However, once the plants are established, the workload drops considerably and they look beautiful!”

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One of the major contradictions of our time is that, while we seem to be a moving towards sustainability, we are also becoming disconnected from the land that supports us. Neufeld expresses his concern that kids are becoming increasingly detached from nature. Native plant growing might help re-unite your kids with the outdoors. The history, the discovery and the dirt are just the sorts of things that grab the attention of young inquisitive minds. Neufeld suggests that you “pick a spot in the yard and give it to your kids. Help them choose the right native plants to put there (maybe you can research it together), but let it ultimately be their decision.”

that they’ve planted and the ones growing in the wild. “You can almost see the light bulb go on. They know they’ve done something good; that their actions have had a positive and permanent impact.” If you’ve ever walked in a place like the old growth forests on BC’s west coast you have no doubt experienced how a piece of land can hold the history of the natural world. By planting native plants, you can get a glimpse of this in your own backyard; you can save a piece of natural history for generations to come, not only for generations of your own family but for generations of birds, bees and butterflies too.

Neufeld has seen first hand what happens when kids start to make a connection between the native plants

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A Tale of Three Barbecues Finding the Right Grill for You

The barbecue experience is a seemingly universal pleasure. From the Hawaiian luau to the South African Braai, from Jamaican jerk chicken to the Australian sausage sizzle, we humans love our grilled food. In Canada, even snow is no obstacle to the fresh-off-the-grill taste. But winter barbecuing is a mere shadow of the true grilling experience. It is only once the sun’s rays start to give heat, once the patio furniture can be unpacked, that the barbecue (the event, not the food) can truly be enjoyed. After all, the barbecue has less to do with the taste of the food (although this is certainly an important element), and more to do with sharing a meal with friends and family in the great outdoors. The trend towards creating extra-ordinary outdoor eating spaces is a testament to this. Outdoor cooking and dining areas can range from the extravagant to the tiny-but-mighty. However, there is one common denominator: this is where our love of socializing, our love of warm weather and our love of grilling combine. “Outdoor Kitchen” is the term used to describe a fully equipped outdoor eating space. Imagine, a 30 square foot area that houses a fridge, a sink, enough counter space to prepare your finest culinary concoctions, cabinetry to hold your outdoor cookware, and a stone island where friends and family can sit for a chat while overlooking your mason-crafted custom stone outdoor fireplace and rotisserie. Going too far? Not for some. But for the rest of us, it’s only a dream. Or is it? Regardless of space or budget, with a little imagination, everyone can achieve the outdoor eating space that’s perfect for your lifestyle and family. A small urban deck boasts an equally satisfying experience. Even in a space that is as small as 10 square feet, you can create your own outdoor eating haven. With a small bench along the rail for life’s cozier moments, an herb “garden” growing in planters to add greenery to the space, not to mention freshness to your meal, a small barbecue with cedar plank salmon grilling to perfection, and a bistro-style table set for two, what more could you ask for?

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If your setting has grown from two to four, six or eight, the family outdoor eating space can become what the indoor kitchen has always been: a meeting place. Picture a pergola with green vines to provide shade and ambience, under which your grill cooks hot dogs and hamburgers as easily as souvlaki and Cajun halibut. The centre piece of your space is the dining table – where you, your spouse, guests and kids gather to prepare meals, where your meal conversations range from the sincere to the absurd, and where you gather in the evening for a board game. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and whether small, medium or large, there’s no reason that heart can’t beat just as strongly in an outdoor setting.

FOR YOUR SPACE, HERE ARE THREE TYPES OF GRILLS TO CONSIDER:

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INFRA RED

Like a traditional gas barbecue, these grills are fuelled by propane or natural gas. But, unlike the gas barbecue, infrared grills heat a ceramic tile that emits infrared radiation to cook your food. The advantage of this type of grill is that it heats and cooks quickly. The aficionado swears that a perfect steak takes only six minutes; however, it can take some getting used to. But, for the griller who loves to try everything, this could be the perfect new experience.

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CHARCOAL

You would be hard pressed to change the mind of a person who swears by the charcoal grill. Sure, it takes longer to heat up and it’s more difficult to control heat distribution, but the kettle grill is the iconic backyard barbecue, and this is saying nothing about the flavour – oh, the flavour! It’s what a true connoisseur craves. If you have never tried charcoal, or it’s been years, it may be time to revisit a classic.

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GAS GRILL

It’s the tried and true favourite for a reason: it’s one versatile grilling machine. There is a gas grill out there that will fit anyone’s space, anyone’s budget. Plus, if you have natural gas heating, you can get a gas line extended right to your barbecue, so you will never have to worry about running out of propane again. There are also a number of accessories that fit gas grills, including infrared attachments and smoke boxes, and that means your one grill can cook as many culinary treasures as you wish to try.

The barbecue experience is about more than just the food you serve, it’s about enjoying the things we love most about summer: good food and good company in a warm, relaxing atmosphere. The season is short, so before you’re back to barbecuing in mittens, get out and make some memories! www.leisurescapes.com

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The Benefits of Backyard Exercise

Summer is the time when most of us get in shape. After all, even if you manage to avoid the beach—and why would you want to?—there’s no avoiding shorts and tank tops during those mid-summer heat waves. If this motivation, along with the abundant health benefits, is still not enough to have you lacing up the running shoes, perhaps it’s time to think even more local than a jog through the neighbourhood. Your backyard could offer everything you need to get fit this year.

20 | BACKYARD ESCAPES SPRING/SUMMER 2012

With more and more families choosing to install pools in their backyards, water exercise is becoming a popular way to get one of the most beneficial forms of exercise without leaving the comfort of your own space. As Shelley Fleckenstein, a physiotherapist and Director of Kings Physiotherapy Clinic, says, “water is a beautiful medium for exercise. People are able to do exercises in water that they are not able to do on land because the buoyancy of water helps support body weight.

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Buoyancy reduces the amount of force exerted on joints and counteracts the effects of gravity.” This is good news for people with conditions such as spinal cord injury, MS and cerebral palsy, to name just a few. But people without these conditions can also reap the benefits of water exercise.

Being in your own backyard on a summer’s day makes everything better, even exercise. Whether it’s a swim in the pool, re-learning how to cartwheel, practicing martial arts, tossing a football or running through the sprinkler, figure out what activity you love, let go of your inhibitions and have fun while keeping fit this year.

“Water provides resistance and therefore can be used for strengthening exercises as well as to improve balance and coordination,” says Fleckenstein, and, as she knows firsthand, swimming offers a great cardiovascular workout. “We installed a pool in our own backyard two years ago. I love to go out in the early morning and swim lengths. In fact, we originally installed the pool thinking it was for the kids, but my husband and I use it just as much they do.” Everyone knows that regular exercise improves physical as well as mental and emotional health. Thanks to the low-impact nature of water workouts, your body will gain the benefits of exercise while lessening the risks associated with some of the more high-impact activities. This is not only good for your body; it means you might actually enjoy your workouts too. If space or budget does not allow you to install a pool, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy exercise in your backyard. As Fit Mom blogger (fitmomsociety.com) and mother of four, Mia Lockhart, says “thanks to the many exercise videos available on YouTube, people are working-out more at home. Many videos are actually set outside, so it seems only natural to perform them outside too. When the weather’s nice, I’ll take my laptop outside and do yoga to a video. I also do lunges to the end of the yard and back, and I love to take the kettle ball outside.” Of course, one the best forms of backyard exercise is, as kids have always known, play. Allow yourself to get outside and do what kids do. Goof around, act silly and enjoy yourself. As Lockhart expresses, “I love getting outdoors for the fresh air, the sunshine, the change of scenery, but part of what makes backyard exercise great is the fun aspect.” And Lockhart finds plenty of ways to have fun with her kids in their own yard. “We jump on the trampoline, race around the yard, and have cartwheel competitions.” “I love to do round-offs!” her 10-year-old daughter cuts in. While her 11-year-old daughter expresses the joy “cranking up the music and dancing in the backyard. We’ve even done it around a campfire.” Day or night, the Lockharts find ways to stay active at home, and one could hardly call many of these activities “work”-outs. “Most people stop exercising because it gets too mundane,” Lockhart says. “Backyard exercise should be about getting back to play.” www.leisurescapes.com

SPRING/SUMMER 2012 BACKYARD ESCAPES

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WELCOME TO THE JOHNSONS’

P R I V A T E R E S O R T. Our pools, spas and grills make every day a fabulous vacation. Just step o u t yo u r b a c k d o o r a n d yo u’re i n yo u r h ave n . Th e t r ave l t i m e i s j u s t a b o u t a m i n u t e . B e s t o f a l l , t h e r e ’s a l w a y s a n e x c l u s i v e g u e s t l i s t , a n d t h e p a r t i e s a re by i nv i t a t i o n o n l y.

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Easy Summer Entertaining

If your summer’s like mine, it’s a time to laugh with neighbors and friends through long, warm evenings you wish would never end. I love to entertain but to me, being a good host is more than just serving my guest a meal with drinks. I want to enjoy all the conversation and intimate discussions with them as well. To make the best of every moment here are a few of my favorite dishes that take little time to prepare so you can enjoy your summer evenings without the stress of full time kitchen duty.

24 | BACKYARD ESCAPES SPRING/SUMMER 2012


CHICKEN SATAY

MARGARITA CUPS

¼ cup favourite barbecue sauce ¼ cup smooth peanut butter ¼ cup fresh lime juice 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

1 pkg (85g) of strawberry gelatin powder 1 cup of frozen orange sorbet or sherbet Whipped dessert topping Wedge of orange

Mix all ingredients together except chicken; pour over chicken in shallow glass dish. Stir to evenly coat chicken. Refrigerate 1 hour to marinate or until ready to BBQ. Heat barbecue to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; thread onto 12 skewers. Discard marinade. Grill chicken 6 to 8 min. on each side or until done.

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Add 1 cup of boiling water to gelatin powder until completely dissolved stir in frozen sorbet until completely melted Pour into margarita glasses and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm, top with whipped dessert topping and garnish with orange. Vodka can be substituted to make an adult beverage, just reduce water amount by same amount of vodka but no more than ¼ cup or it may not set correctly.

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Great Option for Small Spaces So you think you might want a swimming pool, but your yard is too small or it costs too much money. So you thought about getting a hot tub instead, but they seem to be just too small. Or you would like to swim all year long indoors, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to double the size of your house to put in a pool. Imagine having the benefits of a large conventional pool in an easy to install mini-version. A â&#x20AC;&#x153;swim-spaâ&#x20AC;? can be installed inside or outdoors, and with it you can swim gently in place, without turning, or against a swift current and then relax in one of the two jetted hydroptherapy seats. The swim spa is designed around the current created by three powerful quiet jet pumps that create a flat and uplifting water flow that allows you to swim continuously up to 8mph without turning. The degree of resistance is variable so you can choose your own pace. The swim spa is fun and safe for all ages. Shallow enough for most children and non-swimmers yet deep enough to satisfy the most serious swimmer, jogger or water aerobics enthusiast. Swimming offers a low-impact solution to improved cardiovascular health and the

intensity of your workout is a dial away. The convenience of having your own swim spa at home is ideal for those whose needs are centered on a healthy lifestyle. There are many benefits to exercising in water. One of the benefits is that water aerobics allows a person to exercise every muscle and every joint in the body all at the same time. Another benefit is that water aerobics are cooler as the water cools off your body the entire time you are performing your routine, which makes for a more comfortable yet extended workout. The last and probably most important benefit of water aerobics is that almost anyone, no matter their age, can perform water aerobics. This is because the water causes your body to be buoyant, thus causing less strain and stress on your joints and muscles. Whether you are old or young, fit or not so fit, exercise in the water may help you to manage a healthy weight, tone, maintains bone density, and more. You do not need to even get your hair wet, nor be a swimmer; however, enjoying the water is very important. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get any more practical than a swim spa and your own â&#x20AC;&#x153;water gymâ&#x20AC;? in the privacy of your own home.

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Towards The Dream Backyard That Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve Always Wanted. And Your Neighbours Would Love To Have! Use your prize for a pool, hot tub, barbecue or backyard accessories from your local LeisureScapes dealer. Entering is easy. Go to: www.LeisureScapesDream.com for entry form and details. Or scan the QR code below from your cell phone.

*Prize is in the form of a credit applied to a LeisureScapes project. Contest entry period: April 1 to June 30, 2012. No purchase necessary to enter. Odds of winning depend on number of entries. Skill testing question required to win. Contest open only to residents of Canada (excluding residents of Quebec). For full contest rules including conditions applicable to the use of the prize, visit http://www.LeisureScapesDream.com


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OUR MISSION “We are an intriguing backyard leisure store, focused on meeting people’s lifestyle goals of relaxing, and socializing with friends and family. We

promise, with our products, to make your backyard a special place, and with our service, to make it perfect.”

Water & Wellness Backyard Escapes 2012 Full  

The Adventure Vacation Everyday Rituals WATER &amp; WELLNESS Spring/Summer 2012 Let your Imagination Run Wild Planting Native Plants p.16 Ex...

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