Use a sauna, or a sauna blanket or dome
See Bunny’s latest YouTube Video ‘Health benefits of saunas for gardeners and even non gardeners!’
As I have just had my 67th birthday, and seen some of my friends aged between 50 and 70 succumb to “Sniper’s Alley” (the age where you are most likely to get unexpected health issues), I am keener than ever to keep fit and engage with that “raring to go” quality of youth. I’ve always hated the stuffy atmosphere in a sauna, but a client of mine, Spurs and England footballer Eric Dier, is evangelistic about them. For him – both a great sportsman and a keen gardener – saunas are essential for remedial purposes, especially muscle recovery. Saunas also improve your “health span” (the length of time a person is healthy, not just alive) and I have recently discovered that sauna domes and sauna blankets also give benefits from regular use. A sauna blanket is essentially a heated sleeping bag, while a sauna dome is a mini tunnel, and both are heated with far infrared (FIR) rays, which penetrate your skin and elevate your body temperature via the blood in your fine capillaries. They are a joy to get into, especially if you have been gardening in cold, icy conditions. After two weeks of using my sauna blanket I noticed a marked decrease in stiffness, which is highly satisfying for a gardener as it allows you to get into many useful positions! My circulation, always previously highly sluggish – so much so my GP prescribed heated gloves, as he was concerned I would get gangrene due to working outside in the cold – has improved dramatically. Even my varicose veins are shrinking. My skin is definitely looking plumper too – presumably from being better fed due to my increased circulation. Like a sauna, sauna bags and domes have a detoxifying effect, and they reduce fatigue and aid muscle recovery after exertion or heavy gardening. Sauna blankets and sauna domes are relatively new, so they have not had the long-term research carried out on them that conventional saunas have (for example, Dr Jari Laukkanen from the University of Eastern Finland has comprehensively researched the effects of saunas on health and found that regular use reduced risk [in middle-aged men] of sudden cardiac death, Alzheimer’s and dementia, acute respiratory illnesses, low-level inflammation and strokes). They are not cheap, from £380 for a sauna blanket (heathealer.com) or £669 for a Firzone dome (firzone.co.uk), but they are more affordable than a conventional sauna, which would cost several thousand pounds, and they cost far less to run. In my experience, the effects have been highly positive.