A good resource, but not the only resource.
The other day, a mom-to-be approached the Research Desk in a bit of a panic. “All of your copies of What to Expect When You’re Expecting are checked out!” Now it is true that What to Expect When You’re Expecting is one of the most requested titles by future moms, and with good reason. According to the book description it “is a perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today’s 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. It’s read by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book–the most iconic, must-have book for parents-to-be, with over 14.5 million copies in print.”
High praise, indeed, but if it’s not on the shelf and you want it that day, there are other fish in the sea. Take, for example, the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Health Pregnancy. Publishers Weekly stated, “Would-be mothers looking for precise, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this mammoth pregnancy guide…most readers will find great reassurance this volume’s carefully vetted facts.” And The Joy of Pregnancy: The Complete, Candid, and Reassuring Guide for Parents to Be is another popular and trusted source.
There’s also The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood and Your Pregnancy Week By Week. Both of which not only give you tips on a health pregnancy, but also gives you a weekly progress report on what’s going on in there.
Of course if you want a little humor to go with your advice, there’s always The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy or The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. And you can always put the future papa to work with The Expectant Father: Facts,Tips, and Advice for Dads-To-Be. But that’s just a small sampling. There are many more good pregnancy guides as well as many that deal with very specific areas of pregnancy such as diet or high-risk pregnancies. Be sure to stop by any branch of HCLS for even more options.
Really, Well & Wise, again? First you you try to sell us on the health benefits of poetry, now gardening? Not buying it.
Dear, skeptical reader, do not scoff. Where poetry’s benefits may be harder to pinpoint, mostly improving mental health, gardening can make you feel better on the inside and look better on the outside. We all know that the “fruits” of one’s gardening labors can often be employed in healthful meals, but there is more to it than that.
Take for example the book, Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness: Exercise plans, Injury Prevention, Ergonomic Designs by Bunny Guinness.
By aussiegall [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
Guinness, a gardening designer, worked with physiotherapist Jacqueline Knox to create step-by-step movements based on Pilates and illustrate safe ways to perform strenuous garden-related tasks, such as pushing wheelbarrows, lifting pots, and picking crops/plants–ways that boost fitness while avoiding strain and injury. The book also provides real and effective gardening techniques requiring different exertion levels; planting designs for time-pressed gardeners; garden maintenance regimes to stay active; and, of course, a comprehensive guide to growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs to help maintain a healthful diet.
And, even without the book, you can still enjoy the benefits of gardening. According to Next Avenue, “this hobby offers direct health benefits to avid and casual gardeners alike. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labels gardening ‘moderate cardiovascular exercise.’ Former National Gardening Magazine editor Dan Hickey says that according to studies he has participated in, 45 minutes of gardening can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of heart-healthy aerobics.”
They go on to say that National Institute of Health recommends 30 to 45 minutes of gardening three to five times a week and you can even benefit by breaking up the time into smaller portions. “And the cherry on top: Research shows that gardeners have an increased zest for life, sleep better, have a lowered risk for osteoporosis and diabetes….” Next Avenue even references a study, that suggests gardening can improve your sex life.
Discovery Health emphasizes the practicality of gardening for health: “Local gardening, and the resulting local food communities, may hold even more answers to the economic and health care disasters we currently face. With obesity now seen as an epidemic in developed nations, gardening represents a good source of physical activity….” Discovery Health sites how gardening can encourage kids to try a greater range of fruits and veggies and promote mental health (through relaxation and satisfaction and better nutrition) as well as physical healthThey also discuss how gardening has been linked to preventing dementia in seniors; allows for more whole foods, in place of processed options; and provides extra food and savings for the family, as well as income if sold at local farmers markets.
If you still feel like you’re just not the gardening type, rest assured–you don’t have to go out and buy loads of fancy equipment and start ordering all the latest seed catalogs to take advantage of all gardening has to offer. You can start small. Maybe check out a book like Gardening In Your Nightie: What Every Passionate Gardener Should Know But Never Dared to Ask to get things explained in plain language and an entertaining fashion. Or you can stop by and chat with some experts at one of HCLS Master Gardener classes.
Columbia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Focus on MEE is being spearheaded by the Columbia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. MEE stands for motivate, educate and empower, and the goal of Focus on MEE is to facilitate lifestyle changes that will improve physical and mental health specifically with regard to combating childhood obesity. In the United States and Maryland, obesity has become a serious problem. Based on their body mass index, 12% of Maryland adolescents (aged 12 – 19) are classified as obese (Source: Maryland Youth Tobacco Survey). This places these adolescents at a higher risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea and social discrimination.
To address this health issue we have planned a series of forums and physical activity sessions to motivate, educate, and empower adults, parents, and adolescents on: (1) making healthier food choices; (2) enhancing their physical fitness levels; and (3) improving their mental health by maintaining a positive mental attitude with regard to body image and lifestyle choices.
The series will include the following events:
Get Active, Think Healthy
Physical & Mental Health Fitness Fair
Saturday, March 30, 2013 – 2:30PM to 4:30PM
Gymnasium, North Laurel Community Center
9411 Whiskey Bottom Rd, Laurel MD
Come dressed for participation!
Learn About Healthier Food Choices
Saturday, May 4, 2013 – 4:30PM to 6:30PM
Keith’s Treats & Eats, 14713 Baltimore Ave, Laurel, MD
Please register at firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthy Shopping Tips
Smart Food Tour
Friday, May 24, 2013 – 2:45PM to 3:45PM
Meet in Upper Level Dining Area
Wegmans, 8855 McGaw Rd, Columbia, MD
Measure Progress Toward Goals
Health Celebration with Prizes & Awards
Saturday, June 1, 2013 – 1:00PM to 5:00PM
Centennial Park, Pavilion E, Ellicott City, MD
The Columbia MD Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was chartered in 1971. Delta was the first African-American Greek organization to start a chapter in Howard County. Our outreach programs include The Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy for middle school girls interested in science and math, the Lifestyle Change Initiative in which we work to combat the high incidence of obesity among women, and the Financial Fortitude Program assists participants in defining goals and developing a financial plan to achieve.
For additional details, please feel free to contact Dr. Phyllis Campbell or Debra Stepp at email@example.com or at 410-926-0174 or 301-518-0842 respectively.
More bad news for the Boomer generation- those born 1946 – 1964.
Although great medical advances have been made in the Boomer lifetime, contributing to greater life expectancies, the Boomer generation may be much less healthy than the previous Silent Generation.
A study released online last week in the JAMA Internal Medicine examined the health status of aging Baby Boomers relative to the previous generation. Here are the grim statistics:
- Overall, only 13.2 percent of Boomers reported themselves in “excellent health” compared to 32% of individuals in the previous generation
- Diabetes has more than doubled in just one generation. 15.5% of Boomers have diabetes compared to only 6.2% of individuals in their parent’s generation
- High Blood Pressure? 43% of Boomers vs 36.4% of the Silent Generation
- Obesity increased to 38.7% of Boomers from 29.4% in the previous generation
- High Cholesterol is clogging up the works for 73.5% of Boomers versus only 33.8% of individuals in the Silent Generation
So that’s bad news, but it’s an active generation, right? They run and compete in triathlons and walk the Malls and they know the importance of physical activity, don’t they? Well… Boomers might talk the talk, but they surely don’t walk the walk.
- Only about 35% of Boomers exercise more than 12 times per month- down from nearly 50% a generation ago
- More than half of all Boomers report NO regular physical activity
On a national level, what exactly does this generational good-health deficit mean? According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Boomers made up 26.1 percent of the population. Unless these health statistics turn around, the Boomer Generation could strain our workforce numbers and, in the coming decades, impact our ability to provide adequate healthcare- important considerations for future policy planning.
The impact on a personal and individual level is even more significant. In addition to increased financial costs, Boomers will struggle with quality of life issues. While statistics may indicate that Boomers will live longer, they also indicate that the value of those additional years may be diminished by poor health.
Change is never easy… but surely it’s time to change?
Posted by hclibrary on Dec 31, 2012 in Fitness, Health | 1 comment
By Matthew Hall
Picture yourself on the top of a mountain. You look out at a vast landscape of nature and as you turn to leave, your feet slip. All of a sudden you are sliding down towards the edge of a cliff and at the last moment, you manage to grab on to a tree limb. You hang there with no one around to help you, so what do you do? Unfortunately, many people reading this wouldn’t possess the strength to pull themselves up (and in this story, you would die).
One pull up! If any of you, like me, have flashbacks to middle school gym class, then you know how frustrating it can be to realize that you cannot perform one repetition of this simple movement. Even people who regularly exercise, from tennis players to marathon runners, often do not posses the strength to perform a pullup.
I think that while performing bodyweight exercises can be extremely humbling, it is also a great measure of general strength and athletic ability. It is entirely possible to build a physique worthy of a magazine cover using only bodyweight movements, and they are a great, free resource that can be adjusted for any level of fitness.
Push ups are probably the easiest movement for most people to develop. Everyone has seen them done, so we know where to begin. For those looking to be able to do one push up properly, begin with your knees on the ground and your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Control your descent down, keep your back straight, and try to keep your elbows pointed inward toward your body, not outward. This puts unnecessary stress on your shoulders and elbows, and will cause pain in the future, if not immediately. Do an initial test of how many you can do in one set. Write this down as your benchmark for future workouts. A good beginning to a program would be three to five sets of as many as possible. You can do this every other day until your strength improves and you can perform 3 sets of 10 reps on your knees. Then move on to doing them with your feet on the ground. Again, control your descent and keep your back straight (don’t stick your behind in the air). Start with 3 sets of as many as you can until you can do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Pull ups are harder to develop without a gym membership. There are a number of exercises and machines, such as pulldowns and assisted pull-up machines that are the easiest way for a beginner to develop upper body strength, especially upper back and shoulders. If you have access to these machines, perform 3 sets of 10 reps 2 or 3 times a week, each week trying to add weight to the exercise. If you do not have access to these machines, you can purchase resistance bands and attach them to a chin-up bar (or monkey bar set at a playground) and place the band under your feet. This should assist you when attempting pull ups. Follow the same progression as with pull ups, until you can do one pull up unassisted.
So if you want to survive our cliffhanger scenario, get started on working to develop these movements. Your body can be a free gym once you have the ability to perform basic chin ups and push ups, as there are numerous modified versions of them to challenge yourself with. The new year is coming, so set your goal now and get started early!
With the New Year approaching, some people are determining what their New Year’s resolutions will be. Year after year, two of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are staying fit and losing weight, according to USA.gov.
Will staying fit be one of your priorities this coming year? If so, great! If not, you should consider it. Physical activity provides many long-term benefits for everyone, including preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke, relieving stress, promoting strong bone development and more.
If you want to stay fit in 2013 and years to come, you must set goals that are specific, realistic, measurable, achievable and timely. Here are five ways to get started with setting realistic fitness goals:
- Determine your purpose: There are plenty of reasons why a person may want to lose weight or stay in shape. Is it so you can fit into that dress or suit that’s been hanging in your closet for years? Do you want to lose weight because of a health condition? Do you want to stay in shape because you want to live a long, healthy life? Whatever the case may be, figure out why you are doing this — and don’t forget! In fact, write it down.
- Take baby steps: One reason why some people tend to drop the ball on their New Year’s resolution to stay in shape, is because they set unrealistic goals for themselves. For instance, if you’re looking to lose 50 pounds in a month, you may be disappointed when week three comes by and you’re still the same size. Disappointment usually leads to a lack of motivation, and we don’t want that! Start small. Instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in the first month, perhaps aim to lose about five — hey, every bit counts!
- Document your success: If you want to know if your fitness plan is working, consider keeping a record of your progress in a journal.
- Give yourself a pat on the back: Staying fit is not always so easy, especially when you’re just starting out. Try rewarding yourself when needed. Not only will it help you stay motivated, but it’s also a good gesture to recognize yourself for making great accomplishments.
- Consider a workout partner or fitness club: You’re not in this alone. There are many people who share the same desire as you — to get in shape. Perhaps seek a workout partner or join a community fitness club. Having a workout partner or team will most likely keep you motivated!
Columbia Association (CA) is running its Biggest Winner Contest, starting on Jan. 5, 2013. The Biggest Winner Contest provides a fun, motivational and supportive way to lose weight and support a healthier lifestyle! Learn more about The Biggest Winner Contest here.
How do you plan on getting fit in 2013? Tell us in a comment below!