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Love Your Heart!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Take a second and consider that throbbing lump of muscle mass at the centre of your chest. Doesn’t it almost seem miraculous? And yet millions of Canadians suffer from heart disease – a phenomenon that is largely preventable. This Valentine’s Day, lay off the chocolate and do something heart healthy.

  • Take a walk with a loved one, and have a long talk.
  • Watch a funny movie with a friend, and laugh till it hurts.
  • Take a quiet moment and do some yoga or meditation.
  • Crank your favourite music and dance like no one’s watching.
  • Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for, and all of the people you’re lucky to be surrounded by.
  • Prepare a great meal composed mainly of vegetables and wholesome grains.
  • Make love! (it's like yoga, but a little more interesting...)

Your local library branch has all sorts of information on cardiac health and wellness. Find out more about dietary practices, food and nutrition, physical activity, medication and side effects, statistics about Canadians’ health, and lots more. Our e-library is full of academic journals detailing scientific trials and experiments, new procedures and so on. Ask your librarian how to access health information in other languages, or about alternative treatments and therapies.

Love your heart! Unlike a boyfriend or husband, you really are stuck with the one you’ve got! Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Hero Lies in You (not a Mariah Carey post!)

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

I’m reading a great new book these days – well, actually, it’s a tremendously popular 1998 title, The Hero Within, by Carol S. Pearson. When my train arrives at the Central Library these mornings, I feel like a therapist has just told me: “We’ll have to continue this another time...” and I want to plead: “Please – just 5 more minutes!”

The Hero Within is an exploration of archetypes and their role in our psychological development and health. We all live out patterns of thinking and doing that reveal our psychological similarities. We cope with problems, challenges or obstacles, and we do so by telling ourselves stories about ourselves and the world. Stories like “I just can’t win. It’s so unfair!” or “...no one really understands me, anyway” or “...no one appreciates the work that I do, and the sacrifices that I constantly make”. Or stories like “I have to take this journey, even though I’m not sure where I’m going”. At any given moment, we may be operating within the narrative of the orphan, innocent, magician, wanderer, warrior or altruist.

Heroes aren’t perfect people. They often come from dysfunctional or impoverished backgrounds, and are flawed individuals. But we admire them because they don’t give up. Heroes aren’t great because they’re fearless. They’re great because they act in spite of their fear. Heroes learn to recognize what is important and what is not; they learn to cope with loss, and to summon the strength to fight for what is just. Heroes don’t care about what others think.

Even though it sounds corny, it’s true: each of us is on her own journey. Read The Hero Within and be encouraged to show courage, adopt a new life pattern (and lose the old ones!), make a difficult choice, and grow.

For general psychology and self help, browse section 158 of your local library.

Wheat Belly, by William Davis M.D.

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

While shopping on my supper break a few days ago, I proved Dr. William Davis right. Davis is the author of a contentious new book: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find your Path Back to Health and he claims that cutting wheat out of your diet might allow you to lose several pounds within the first few weeks. Does it sound too good to be true? Sure. But thus far, it’s working for me. Eleven days without wheat and already my clothes are a bit looser. I could barely contain my grin, when I heard myself asking if I could get that skirt one smaller size. YES!

I don’t know if I’m under the blissful influence of the placebo effect or not, but I really do feel lighter, energetic, and increasingly more clear-headed. I think I’ll keep it up!

Your Calgary Public Library branch contains lots of diet books; not all of them advise you to eschew wheat, but nearly every one will tell you to limit “white foods”: sugars, breads, snack foods and other miscellaneous refined and processed products. Essentially, you should give up the food that’s not really food. Give it a try and see how you feel!

Our e-library contains comprehensive and reputable health and wellness information and we’ve got a great range of exercise DVDs and diet books, too. And check out our program guide for programs on health and nutrition.

By the way, Dr. Davis was interviewed recently in McLean's magazine. If you missed it, you can find the article in our e-library database Canadian Newsstand. Not sure how to access it? Call us at (403) 260-2782, or head to our homepage and strike up a chat! We're happy to give you instructions!

Exploring the e-library

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

Whenever I participate in community outreach on behalf of the Calgary Public Library, the one comment I am bound to hear more often than any other is: “I didn’t know you guys had that!”

I wish that more Calgarians knew about the tremendous resources at their fingertips. So, I’m encouraging you to take a tour of our newly designed website. Check out some of these resources:

  • daily newspapers from Calgary and around the world
  • hundreds of digitized magazines and magazine articles
  • business directories
  • encyclopedias
  • language learning software
  • free e-books
  • academic and peer reviewed articles
  • reliable information about health and wellness

What I’ve listed here is just a small sample of all that’s available to you! If you’re not sure how to get started, then strike up a conversation with us, using our online chat feature. Happy browsing!

Drinking: A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I read this book with fascination. That’s what’s so great about the autobiography - you can step into the life of someone who’s entirely different from you, and step back out, unscathed.

Knapp was an outwardly successful woman. A journalist with a university education, and an upper-middle class background, she nevertheless became a “raging drunk”. What I loved most about this book is that it opened my eyes to the reality of alcoholism. It is not a disease that strikes only the poor, weak, or immoral. It’s a disease that can ruin the life of just about anyone, and for vastly different reasons.

I’m the kind of person who can stop drinking when I choose. Knapp couldn’t. She just couldn’t – until she had no other choice but to quit, and enter rehab. Drinking chronicles Knapp’s life, from the days when she first started drinking, through her university years and beyond, and finally through rehab and towards sobriety.

With insight and honesty, Knapp shares her observations about how childhood, family life, emotions, and self-perception can lead one to take refuge in alcohol.

After reading this book, I’m much more aware of the reasons why it’s nearly impossible for so many people to “just stop” drinking.

Visit your local library today! Whether you’re looking for autobiographies or any other genre, we’re happy to assist you and to make suggestions. We also have a wide variety of materials about alcohol and alcohol abuse. If you need more assistance, information desk staff can give you contact information for local AA chapters.

Cycling at Central

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Cycling is great for your body, your mind, and your city. Come to the Central Library and learn more about this healthy, efficient and enjoyable alternative to driving. We’ve got a variety of programs lined up, so whether you ride an electric bike, or an “old fashioned” one, you’ll be able to get helpful advice on how to maintain and care for it. We’ve even got programs about urban bike use and bicycle activism!

Check out this link for details about program dates and times.

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