Are you getting a flu shot this year? Working with a lot of children and the general public means most of us (if not all of us) at the library will get a flu shot. If you live in Lanark County and you’re looking for a flu shot clinic in the area this fall, here is a list of dates. Of course, you can also get a flu shot at your family doctor’s office or at many of the pharmacies in the area.
Diets. No one likes them (even if you try to be sneaky and call it a “lifestyle change”), and we often have cravings when we’re on them. Or maybe that’s why we need to diet in the first place. But did you know that many of our wants or cravings are actually a result of some deficiency? Multi-vitamins might help, but if you’re feeling like you need something, maybe you just need a healthy substitute.
I must say that although the idea sounds easy enough (I want those chips SO bad, but hey, I’ll just have some turnip greens instead. YUM!), it probably isn’t something that everyone will be able to do. Making changes to your diet to be healthier or lose a few of those winter pounds is something that takes dedication. You can’t change overnight.
If you’d like to know more about quitting a bad habit, we have lots of great books in the library about health, wellness, diet and exercise. We even have a few on cravings, such as:
Stop in and browse our aisles for a few ideas to help get ready for spring. It’s time to start something new!
This post has nothing to do with spelling, but the word “speleotherapy” is a new word for me. If you’re wondering just what the word means, I’ll give you a hint: it has something to do with salt, and salt-mines in particular.
Back in the 1950′s it was discovered that salt miners rarely suffered from tuberculosis or other respiratory diseases. Working with that idea, they came up with a treatment called speleotherapy which puts asthma patients into abandoned salt mines to breathe in the cool, salty air. And apparently, it works.
For decades, doctors have lined up patients in the tunnels of the Solotvyno Salt Mines where the airborne salts kill off respiratory bacteria and make it easier for the patients to breathe. The salt mines lie hundreds of meters below the surface and the tunnels are considered dangerous, but that hasn’t stopped researchers and patients from making their way there year after year.
An interesting idea and possibly a new way of looking at therapies. You can read the full article here and view more photos of the salt mines (which I must say, looks to be VERY primitive and slightly scary). Your challenge for today is to work this new word into regular conversation!
After flipping through a recent edition of Science News Magazine, I came across an interesting article. Over the years, we’ve been told that we’re eating too much, and we’re hearing a lot about portion size being the biggest culprit. Many health and fitness experts will tell you that changing the size of your plate can drastically reduce what you eat….so instead of eating off a regular 8″ dinner plate, you might switch to a 6″, or even smaller. That way, it tricks your mind into thinking you have a full meal and you’ll eat less. After all, didn’t our mothers always tell us to eat everything on our plates?
Now, a study in a recent International Journal of Obesity by brothers Craig and Brian Wansink , claims that our choice of plate size is also reflected in art, specifically in versions of The Last Supper. Over the centuries, they claim that the dish size in the paintings grew relative to head size in art. The brothers claim this probably reflects our growing meal portions, as well.
After flipping through the book The Last Supper, a collection of paintings based on the famous meal, the brothers were able to trace the idea of food consumption/plate size with various time periods. They couldn’t use all of the paintings as references, due to a clear visual of the plates or lack of specific dating, but once they went through 52 pieces, they measured entrees, bread and plate size relative to head sizes and came up with their clear answer: the plates were getting larger, just as we were growing larger as people.
We have plenty of books in the library on diet and exercise, if you’re interested in learning more about eating healthy and eating smarter. I know I’m going to look twice at the size of my plate from now on.
I’ve decided that maybe I’m just a yo-yo. We’ve all heard about yo-yo dieting which is the act of losing and gaining weight over the course of your life, and now I’ve heard the term used for exercise as well. And it applies….I am a yo-yo exerciser. I begin and keep at it for a while, then just completely stop and lose all of the headway that I’ve gained. And now studies are showing that this is even harder on your body than not exercising at all (which would be a preference for many of us, I know). The time it takes for your body to start burning calories at a significant rate is greater once you’ve stopped exercising for a long stretch of time. It is better to just keep at it, once a week for instance, than to quit cold-turkey. Your body will still reap the rewards (higher metabolism, stronger bones and muscle) if you just continue to exercise on a regular basis, but it does have to be good exercise.
So why do we exercise? Many of us do it for a specific event….a wedding, summer bathing suit weather, a high school reunion, and yet others do it to stay healthy or get healthier. Weight loss is a big motivation for most people to exercise, but so is health. I read an article recently about famous chef Gordon Ramsay who says he started exercising after a really stressful period in his life when his father had passed away due to a bad heart. His brother-in-law signed him up to run a marathon and so, he HAD to go into training, no excuses. He began running and found it to be a huge stress reliever, his only quiet time to think during his day. I know that I don’t want any of my family to sign me up for a marathon, but I want to stop yo-yo exercising.
We have a new book in our library for those who might want to start running now that the warmer weather is upon us. Although we were lucky this year to have the option of walking indoors at the Carleton Place High School in the evenings (you can ask Judi or Janet about it if you are visiting the library), many people still prefer to run as a form of exercise. The book is called No Need for Speed : A beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running by John Bingham, a columnist for Runner’s World Magazine. He is a self-proclaimed back of the pack runner and wants people to understand that it isn’t how fast you run, but the fact that you just do it at all.
This looks like a really great read for those of us who might not be sure about running a exercise. There are pages and pages of motivational stories, lots of great tips for getting out there and just starting as well as diet advice and even tips on buying shoes. Although running may seem like a simple form of exercise, Bingham gives you tips on how to really get the most out of it, without stressing the need to achieve the longest distance or the fastest time.
And for those who are less likely to go out and run a marathon yourself, there is a fascinating book in the new bin this morning called A Race Like No Other : 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York by Liz Robbins which details the stories of the New York Marathon in 2007.
She tells the tales of the amateur runners as well as seasoned professionals, bringing insight into both the men’s and women’s races and the people who are spotlighted as the ones to watch during the race. There are pages of great photos before, during and after the race which really brings the book alive. If you’ve ever imagined participating in the world’s largest marathon, this book will not only inspire you, but it might just be the motivation to change your life and achieve that goal.
But for me, it looks like I might be doomed to a lifetime of yo-yo exercise, although I’ll try to correct that lifestyle and at least do something to break a sweat once or twice a week. I can manage that, if only for the thought that it might make my life a bit easier 30 years from now.
It’s an interesting idea, and one which the New York Times claimed was one of the top ideas for 2008, but I’m not sure how well this would sell. A Japanese based design company called Prop came up with the idea of making personal airbags for the elderly (or for people who ride motorcycles etc.) which inflate when the sensors detect a fall. The airbags will open around the head and buttocks to prevent major injuries which can occur as a result of falling. The elderly are more prone to breaking bones if they fall due to osteoporosis or brittle bones and the design company thought we could all benefit from a personal safety device such as this.
Now, I can see many children buying these for our parents as they age in order to protect them, but would they recipients actually wear this? It is worn as a vest that stays flat until a fall is detected, but it certainly doesn’t look fashionable or comfortable or discrete, to say the least. And what if the sensors got it wrong? Would the airbags inflate at inopportune times and cause embarrassment? (I can only picture the idea of an inflatable life raft blowing up inside a small space. I’m sure the personal airbags wouldn’t be as intrusive but what if they inflated by mistake when Grandma was at Church?)
If you would like to know more about this unique invention, which costs about $1400 in Japan right now, you can visit this site. If you would rather think of other ways to protect yourself as you age, there are plenty of books in the library about osteoporosis and strengthening your bones, such as :
Strength Training for Strong Bones by Joan Bassey
Mayo Clinic on Osteoporosis