Health

Are you getting enough sleep? A good night's rest is essential for our bodies to rejuvenate and re-energize. What we do during the day can impact how well we sleep at night. Many factors can keep us awake and interrupt our natural sleep tempo such as stress or too much screen time before bed. Before you catch up on some zzz's, check out these books about sleep...but stay awake long enough to read them! Want to learn more? The National Sleep Foundation's website has great tips for helping you sleep more soundly. 

A good night's sleep is often taken for granted, but its lack can lead to a variety of health problems. In this accessible study, Barone, a sleep specialist, examines what is known about sleep, what can go wrong, and what you can do to to fix it. He begins with sleep hygiene tips, suggestions that include having a consistent bedtime, keeping the bedroom dark and cool, shutting off blue light devices an hour before bed, and trying meditation. He uses patients' medical histories to define sleep disorders (sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, etc.). As he analyzes their stories, Barone offers various behavioral and medical solutions. The doctor admits that medications often have side effects and that people have difficulties adapting to sleep apparatus, including CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines, and experience fear of sleep testing, but he urges anyone who awakes without feeling rested to talk to a specialist. Informative without being alarming, this reassuring guide helps readers assess and take charge of their sleep issues.

Bringing her yoga and mindfulness training to shed light (or perhaps dark) on how to get a good night's rest in this 24/7, go-go-go world, the author asks us to slow down and contemplate the value and importance of how we spend one-third of our lives. Both science facts and quotes from poets lace the pages with reasons why we would want to sleep better and explore our dreams. Gover provides a linear progression of nuts-and-bolts advice on how to get to sleep, stay asleep, experience lucid dreaming, remember dreams, keep a dream journal, and wake up with a smile. It's all told with gentle prose that makes this book delightful and inspiring as well as practical. 

Sensory Snacks: A Healthy Twist on Summer Snacks

Making healthy choices can be a challenge all year round and sugary, carb-laden summer treats can be hard to resist. The library is the place to help your family achieve your best and healthiest summer ever by offering a family-friendly Sensory Snackfest! Join us in the Community Room to create your own healthy, homemade and wholesome snacks from our Snackfest stations: nut-free, gluten-free trail mix, rainbow healthful fruit kebabs, and super nutritious s’mores. We’ll take these classic summer snacks and give them a healthy twist without losing the fun. The library is where you can get your Snackfest fix! All ages and abilities are welcome; no registration required.

Upcoming sessions

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Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S for both men and women. Fortunately, it is preventable and there are many ways you can reduce your risks. Just by making small changes in diet and activity can have big impact on your heart health. Check these books out to get starting on a heart healthy month!

"Soon after she recovered from a major heart attack, public relations specialist Carolyn Thomas turned her talents to learning and blogging about heart disease in women--and, now, to writing a book based on her extensive knowledge of heart disease in women and her own experience and the experiences of other women with the disease. Her more than 600 Heart Sisters blog posts have attracted 5 million+ views from readers in 190 countries. Several of the posts have been re-published internationally, includingin the British Medical Journal. She has been an invited participant at Mayo Clinic's medical conference on women's heart disease, and her story has been picked up by WSJ, NPR, CBS TV and radio, among other places. This evidence-based book combines the personal, emotional, and medical to create an engaging and timely view of women's heart health and disease"--.

Evangelical and passionate, Mackey, cofounder of Whole Foods Market, along with Pulde and Lederman (co-authors of The Fork Over Knives Diet), reaches beyond the typical diet plan tenets of eating right to feel better and lose weight; this plan is expressly intended to help save and extend lives. The impetus for writing the book, the authors state, comes from the nation's high chronic illness rates, particularly in obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. They introduce the work and ideas of numerous like-minded health experts, highlight the world's healthiest societies, and include stories of Whole Foods employees successfully using the plan. The Whole Foods Diet, a play on the maternal admonishment to "eat your fruits and vegetables," is deceptively simple: consume a diet that's at least 90% plant-based, eat whole foods, and avoid highly processed foods. In reading further, readers may feel daunted: don't just limit dairy and meats to less than 10% of your diet, but also avoid oils (including olive oil!) and refined flour and sugar. And perhaps you'd like to make your own nut milk? Even if this health treatise's recommendations are unlikely to become universal, its tone is inspiring.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most devastating global disasters in world history, the Flu Pandemic of 1918. During the fall of the Great War in 1918, an extremely virulent strain of influenza began to spread worldwide. The H1N1 influenza virus also known as the Spanish Flu caused such widespread outbreaks that it killed one fifth of the world's population. This year's influenza strain, the H3N2, is not a new strain, but it's one of the most lethal. Already it has affected every state in the U.S. and is on track for surpassing previous flu seasonal records. What to learn more about viruses? Check out this list!

Also available in: e-audiobook

The history of "the greatest massacre of the twentieth century," an illness that infected more than 500 million people.Between 1918 and 1920, the "Spanish flu" killed more than 50 million people, far more than in the world war then raging. Unlike the familiar flu, which targets infants and the elderly, it killed healthy adults. It was mankind's worst epidemic, writes Paris-based science journalist and novelist Spinney (The Quick, 2007, etc.) in this fine account of influenza's history, its worst attack (so far), and its ominous future. Despite the name, Americans were probably the first to experience the fever, cough, headache, and general miseries of the infection. During spring and summer, it behaved like the usual flu, but in fall 1918, it turned deadly and spread across the world, killing 2.5 to 10 percent of victims, a fatality rate 20 times higher than normal. Scientists have offered countless theories about the illness, but Spinney looks favorably at a recent theory that the 1918 virus provoked a "cytokine storm," a deadly overreaction of the immune system. This may explain why infants and the elderly, with their weaker immune systems, had an easier time. In the middle sections of the book, the author describes how a dozen nations dealt with the epidemic. Heroism was not in short supply, but superstition, racism, ignorance (including among doctors), and politics usually prevailed. In the concluding section, Spinney recounts impressive scientific progress over the past century but no breakthroughs. Revealing the entire viral genome opens many possibilities, but so far none have emerged. Researchers are working to improve today's only modestly protective vaccine; Spinney expresses hope. Readers who worry about Ebola, Zika, or SARS should understand that epidemiologists agree that a recurrence of the 1918 virus would be worse. Short on optimism but a compelling, expert account of a half-forgotten historical catastrophe.

The author unpacks the complex cultural, social and scientific effects of the 1918 influenza epidemic and reveals the American voices that fill the gap of a suppressed national memory. In less than two years, influenza killed more than 50 million people worldwide, shocking existing medical infrastructures and destabilizing the trust that citizens had in science. Physicians were at a loss to prescribe effective treatments; racial and gender divides grew as misunderstandings about the spread of disease exacerbated existing stereotypes; and fear of contagion threatened to collapse the kind of community support that had helped the nation endure past hardships. Simultaneously, the rise of public health care employed the rhetoric of opportunity and optimism, further destabilizing social boundaries as the death rate climbed. A combination of media emphasis on looking toward the future and a public call for increased funding for new scientific research assisted in whitewashing the deep sense of loss and despair that afflicted most Americans as they dealt with the aftermath of the pandemic. Bristow, whose great-grandparents succumbed to influenza in 1920, writes with depth and feeling. By researching dozens of primary sources, she reveals the human circumstances and personal stories behind the history of this tragic era. It's a much-needed addendum to pandemic literature and an important perspective to understand as new and ever-evolving flu strains hover over our collective understanding of disease. 

Interested in trying a vegan lifestyle? There's a reason for everyone to go vegan and what better time to try because January is Veganuary Month! Check out these eResources and books to get started on getting healthier this year! 

"Brian Kateman coined the term "Reducetarian"--A person who is deliberately reducing his or her consumption of meat--and a global movement was born. In this book, Kateman, the founder of the Reducetarian Foundation, presents more than 70 original essays from influential thinkers on how the simple act of cutting 10% or more of the meat from one's diet can transform the life of the reader, animals, and the planet. This book features contributions from such luminaries as Seth Godin, Joel Fuhrman, Victoria Moran, Jeffrey Sachs, Bill McKibben, Naomi Oreskes, Peter Singer, and others. With over 40 vegan, vegetarian, and "less meat" recipes from bestselling cookbook author Pat Crocker, as well as tons of practical tips for reducing the meat in your diet (for example, skip eating meat with dinner if you ate it with lunch; replace your favorite egg omelet with a tofu scramble; choose a veggie burrito instead of a beef burrito; declare a meatless day of the week), The Reducetarian Solution is a life--not to mention planet-saving book.

From the founder of No Meat Athlete: plant-based recipes packed with nutrition to help athletes perform better and recover faster A fast-growing global movement, No Meat Athlete (NMA) is inspiring everyone from weekend joggers to world-class competitors to be healthier and fitter and perform better on whole plant foods. Written by NMA founder Matt Frazier and longtime health coach, yoga teacher, and nutrition writer Stepfanie Romine, The No Meat Athlete Cookbook features 150 whole food, vegan recipes that are affordable and quick to get on the table, even on busy nights. Here are: Breakfasts to power you up (Almond Butter-Banana Pancakes), mains that aid recovery (Beet Bourgignon), and natural sports drinks, portables, energy bites, and bars (V9, Umeboshi Electrolyte Drink, Calorie Bomb Cookies) to take you further and help you get the most from every workout. Minimal gluten, soy, and sweeteners, plus oil-free options throughout (ideal for followers of the Forks Over Knives diet)Meal-planning guidelines, nutritional info, adaptable "blueprint" recipes-and more!.

Is getting healthier this year part of your New Year's resolutions? U.S. News & World Report ranked the best diet plans based on their expert panel's analysis of long-term weight loss results, the impact on overall health and well-being, and how easy it is to follow. Here's a list of books to help you get started on your pathway to better health!

An ultimate guide to common sense-lifestyle changes that will improve the health of the entire family. With a special emphasis on prevention, this book is written for parents, teachers, and anyone concerned about protecting themselves and their children from the health risks of obesity.The DASH Diet has soared in popularity because not only does it allow people to take charge of their own health and that of their families, they can do it while eating delicious food. The plan emphasizes seasonings, spices, healthy oils, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other flavorful food choices. But unlike a mere recipe book, The DASH Diet explains the science and psychology of how to find success with the DASH approach. Author Dr. William Manger and his three distinguished colleagues have crafted a reader-friendly book geared to motivate people to make healthy, informed changes in their daily lives. The book offers in-depth information about fats, cholesterols, vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and more. An entire section is devoted to the role of salt and the dangers of consuming too much salt, especially for people who are overweight. 

Proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol without medication, the DASH diet now is combined with cutting-edge research to develop a program that can halt and even reverse many of the effects of aging. Heller shows you how enjoying a diet of antioxidant rich superfoods, satisfying plant-based meals, and foods that promote healthy gut bacteria will provide visible and measurable results.

Fitness instructor Hemalayaa Behl combines yoga with Bollywood dance moves for a workout designed to improve strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.

Designed to boost heart rate and blast callories while challenging all the major muscle groups. Works to slim down the lower body and firm the core and upper body. Includes a yoga stretch segment to help feel refreshed and energized.

The older and wiser workout is a gentle, safe workout that is perfect for beginners or those that have not been exercising regularly. All of the exercises are done either standing or sitting on a chair. (No lying down on the floor).

Is learning how to mediate on your New Year's resolution list? These books available online will guide you through what meditation is, how to practice meditation, and the benefits of meditation. Check one out today!

Pema Chodron is treasured around the world for her unique ability to transmit teachings and practices that bring peace, understanding, and compassion into our lives. With How to Meditate, the American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun presents her first book exploring in-depth what she considers the essentials for a lifelong practice.

"I don't have time to meditate!" Rebekah "Bex" Borucki has heard this a lot. A certified yoga and meditation teacher, she's taught hundreds of thousands of people how to create simple yet powerful meditation practices. In fact, as she'll show you in this book, in as little as 4 minutes, you can change your life. After years of suffering from anxiety and depression, both as a child and as an adult, Bex took control of her mental and physical health by establishing a rigorous fitness and yoga routine that quickly evolved into her own regular, homegrown 4-minute daily meditation practice. Bex's 4-minute meditations combine mantras, affirmations, breathing and bodywork techniques, and they're designed so that even the busiest people can fit them into their lives. In this book, Bex guides you through 27 different meditation practices, and shares personal stories that demonstrate how meditation has helped her overcome various challenges. She also answers commonly asked questions like "Do my eyes have to stay closed?" and "What do I do if my body starts to hurt? "; provides technical information about props, postures, and mantras; and offers tools to cope with complex issues such as grief, body acceptance, and relationships. By spending just 4 minutes a day with this practice, you will find deep, meaningful, and lasting healing.

“I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly you find—at the age of fifty, say—that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about.... It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you.” ~ Agatha Christie (1890 -1976) An Autobiography (1977)

""At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself." - Maya Angelou We've all seen the ads on TV and in magazines--"50 is the new 30!" or "60 is the new 40!" A nice sentiment to be sure, but Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP and author of Disrupt Aging, disagrees. 50 is 50 and she, for one, likes the look of it. People 50-plus today face distinct challenges and have different goals than people in their 30s and 40s. They're at a different place in their lives and are motivated by different things. They see the world through a lens that is shaped by the ups and downs of life, by the wisdom gained from those experiences, and by the comfort that comes from having a better understanding of who they are as individuals and what they want from life. We are living decades longer than our grandparents--how will we spend those years? Disrupt Aging sets out to change the current conversation about what it means to get older. In it, Jenkins chronicles her own journey, as well as those of others who are making their mark as disruptors, to show readers how we can all be active, financially unburdened, and happy as we get older. It's an engaging narrative that touches on all the important issues facing people 50+ today, from caregiving and mindful living to building age-friendly communities and attaining financial freedom"--.

Combines first-person stories from older people in all walks of life with the author's personal observations to look at the experience of aging, showing the later years to be a time of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth and happiness, rather than a period of decline.

Reduce the chance of a fall at home with these tips:

  • Clean up clutter.
  • Remove throw rugs.
  • Use chairs with arms.
  • Put grab bars in the bathroom.
  • Use good lighting.
  • Wear sturdy shoes with good traction.

For more health tips check out our online Health & Wellness Resources

A leading expert in the science of healthy aging, Dr. Eric B. Larson offers practical advice for growing old with resilience and foresight. More than just canned advice, Enlightened Aging proposes a path to resilience--one that's proven to help many stave off disability until very old age. The steps on this path include pro-activity, acceptance, and building and maintaining good physical, mental, and social health.

A workout routine specifically for seniors, performed at a slow, relaxing pace. The chair exercises will increase flexibility, provide a renewed sense of balance and well-being, develop strength, and enhance the ability to function for seniors.

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