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10 Reasons to Introduce Fountains and Other Water Features into Your Garden

10 Reasons to Introduce Fountains and Other Water Features into Your Garden

Let’s start by saying that water can blend into the foliage you have growing in your backyard. Transform it into a pond, artificial river or fountain and it can stand out and become a focal feature all on its own. Water features are ideal for large gardens and for patios in smaller spaces. With the right accompaniments, and the correct position, they can also change the ambiance in a significant manner. Let’s have a look at these 10 reasons to why water features are ideal for your garden.

#10. Water features are easy to maintain

Cleaning a fountain or a pond is a piece of cake, but they will need to be cleaned out regularly to minimize the risk of algae building up. Not only that, but cleaning is necessary to prevent blockages, as well. If you are using gravel, stones or rocks, these will also need to be taken out regularly and given a clean or a polish. If you have any fish or pond plants make sure to get them out and place them in a water tank before drying the ponds or the fountains. And don’t forget the best part: this type of activity is very enjoyable, refreshing and does not imply high costs.

#9. You can match the ponds with your garden style

There are so many different designs these days, that it is quite easy to find a style to complement your garden. According to many decorating sources, people prefer three styles: modern, classic and old English. Modern garden spaces that are more minimalist look good with Asian inspired water features, made from natural substances. Plus, you can accessorize the space with grasses and bamboo. For old English gardens look for round or antique water features. Statues that double up as water fountains are also effective in classical garden spaces.
In case you only have a patio or balcony, look for a design that can be used in a corner or on a table. There are small fountains and ponds available, made up of concentric vases, which are very efficient on space.

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#8. You can make use of natural sunlight

Water features are even more beautiful when they have sunlight shining through their water streams. It gives off the impression that you are bonding with nature, while being caressed by light. For some cultures, this is thought to be the link with the spiritual world, while for others water is one of the sacred four elements and having it close means blessing of the gods.
Remember that the Greeks used to worship the god Poseidon who ruled the seas and the oceans, while Romans worshiped Neptune, the Roman god of water. The Ancient people had respect for water and light and more than 3000 years later, people still respect the sacred elements.

#7. You can add more garden designs and textures

Home owners love to décor their homes and this applies to gardens and yards, as well. People love to personalize and customize their gardens as a sign of luxury and prosperity. If you wish to décor your garden, you can use natural looking river rocks in different colors and sizes to add an element of interest. Some are rough while others are smoother and more polished, based on individual preferences. Just make sure the size of the rocks is relative to the size of the fountain and the green plants, water and décor objects ratio is equally spread. The last thing you want is to make your garden look unnatural and over stuffed with “decorations”.

#6. It allows you to create a natural habitat for fish

If you want to bring some more life into the ponds and fountains in the back yard, you can go for fish. While koi fish will need a fairly large amount of space for them to swim around in, gold fish work just as well and are a lot more affordable for smaller ponds. Of course, take into consideration that these small marine animals need clean waters all the time, algae and pond plants and of course, food. They usually feed on specific fish food you can find in any pet store. Another thing to consider is large animals: if you have cats or dogs, they might kill the fish out of play or curiosity. So if you are a pet lover, think twice before buying fish, as they won’t have long lives to live among cats and dogs, unfortunately.

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#5. Pond plants are really affordable

Larger water features and fountains can be enhanced with pond plants that serve as natural decorations. Water lettuce is a popular floating plant, as are water lilies, plus the costs are very low. And the best part is that you can do to the seashore and pick up small water plants such as smaller types of sea corals and even sea weed. Among the most popular sea weeds are the brown and green sea weed, also known as algae. But for a drop of color, you can also go for red or yellow sea weed, easily turning your fountain or pond into a natural underwater rainbow.
Remember to add salt, sugar and vitamins in the water, from time to time. Plants are living organisms, as well. And they need a lot of sunlight, so make sure they get plenty of it.

#4. Water attracts birds and wildlife to the yard

Birds, frogs and insects are more likely to frequent your garden when there is always a source of water available. To encourage more wildlife make sure you have plenty of indigenous trees and plant life in the area. Of course, you can’t just buy a fountain or water feature, set it down, switch it on and hope for the best. It needs to be well positioned and accessorized to monopolize on its potential.
Remember: whatever the choice, small water animals might harm the majority of the sea weed and the maintenance process is a bit tiring. But if you love taking care of your ponds, then this is a great idea to implement.

#3. Water cools the garden down

On a hot summer day, having running water can cool the garden down and make it a pleasant place to enjoy. It also enables you to have aquatic and semi-aquatic plants growing in the garden. And probably the most beautiful feature of having running or still water in the garden is what happens after rain. You get to enjoy one of the most beautiful rainbows in your personal garden, in your home.

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But remember: in order to have this cooling and blissful effect, the water used in fountains and ponds needs to be crystal clear and clean, so the maintenance process applies here, as well.

#2. Water makes the yard look bigger

The reflective properties of water mean it can make some spaces look bigger. For maximum reflection you should use dark material for the feature or fountain. If you really want to make the most of your new creation, you can use underwater lighting for night time in different colors and shapes. You can also use eco lights that charge from the sun during the day and light the garden during the night. It gives off a splendid calming effect that can be used in nature therapies and can relieve stress and anxiety.

#1. Water introduces serenity into your garden

A fountain creates a tranquil sound, which is ideal if you live in a noisy neighborhood or in the city. Think of it as your place to recreate yourself and to become one with nature. There are many water therapies, mostly taking place in the mountain side or seaside, near bigger amounts of water such as seas, oceans and rivers. But if you want to have a piece of heaven near your body and your mind, surely a pond or fountain in your own garden can make your dream come true. For an extra therapy effect, you can even plant perfumed flowers that bloom at night.

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After reading these ten reasons, are you ready to introduce water features and fountains into your garden?

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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