Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Jillian Michaels. Atkins Diet. The Zone. Richard Simmons. Hatha Yoga. Grapefruit Diet. Everyday there’s news about health and wellness, “eat this, not that,” and too much of a good thing may – or may not – really be a good thing. With all this mis/information, how is the discerning inquirer to remain discerning? Fortunately, MCPL provides a portal to several great resources to aid in your quest for tips to lead a healthy lifestyle....year-round!
Before delving into “the fountain of youth” to good health, you should know that you can’t trust everything you read; after all, millions of consumers get health information from magazines, TV or the Internet. Some of the information is reliable and up-to-date; some is not. How can you tell the good from the bad?
Evaluating Health Information is compiled by the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. Links include tutorials on how to search for general health information, information pertaining to a specific condition, related topics (e.g., “health literacy” and “evidence-based medicine”) and links to professional organizations that promote health awareness. There’s also a great link on understanding medical research and how it affects you, Mister or Mrs. Educated Consumer. :-)
Once you have a grasp on what makes a health information resource credible, the next step is to dig deeper into a topic that interests you. This involves searching the professional literature and evaluating the latest research. MCPL’s portal has several links to resources that you can access from home. Some may require you to enter your library card number and PIN; there is no charge to you, the Increasingly Discerning Inquirer, for these services.
Don’t forget to check out our libraries’ books, videos and DVD collections! You’ll find health-related materials between the call numbers 610-618, depending what specifically you’re looking for (e.g., 613 = diet/exercise; 618 = pregnancy).
So delve in – for your health, in 2013 and beyond! :-)
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Have you made any New Year's resolutions this year? 2012 is nearly 2 weeks old. Have you been sucessful in keeping any of your resoultions? Experts say that people have trouble keeping resolutions that are not specific. In a recent New York Times article, John Tierney advises individuals to divide wide, all encompassing resolutions, into small, more manageable behavioral changes that will be easier to acomplish and track.
The USA.gov site gives a list of the most common resolutions and the resources to help you plan how to keep them. Included on the list are
- Drink Less Alcohol,
- Eat Healthy Food,
- Get a Better Education,
- Get a Better Job,
- Get Fit,
- Lose Weight,
- Manage Debt,
- Manage Stress,
- Quit Smoking,
- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle,
- Save Money,
- Take a Trip, and
- Volunteer to Help Others.
It is not too late to use this kind of information to modify your resolutions. For example, instead of resolving to "feed your family only healthy food in 2012," a more managable and attainable goal would be "to cook and serve 2 or 3 meals each week using only healthy ingredients." Family members used to finding soda in the refrigerator and cookies in the cupboard will be resistant to a change that completely eliminates these foods. Look for greater cooperation and long lasting change when changes are incremental or small.
If you need ideas about making this kind of change in your family meals, MCPL has books, ebooks and databases that can help. The books, Eat This, Not That give suggestions on how to substitute one food for another. Food Rules give simple, sensible rules to follow to help you develop a healthy, sustainable eating plan. Feeding Baby Green may also be help you plan meals for young children. Browse the nutrition section, 613.2, to find other books. Don't overlook the new book sections in your local branch or the ebook catalog entries, when browsing. MCPL's online Health and Wellness database includes links to current articles and publications about health, exercise and nuitrition.
If you have resolved to "get moving" in 2012, MCPL offers a variety of dance and exercise DVD's that can help you to exercise in your own home. These DVD's may be borrowed for 3 weeks and renewed twice, if no one else is waiting. For dance DVD's, browse the shelves in the 793.33 section for DVD's like The Couples Ultimate Dance Sampler. There are similar titles for children, too in the children's DVD section. For exercise DVD's, browse the the shelves in the 613.7 section. This section includes yoga DVD's, too. Local shopping centers including LakeForest, Westfield Montgomery and White Flint malls each offer "mall walkers" programs. The Montgomery County Department of Recreation offers a variety of classes and recreational programs for adults and children.
Oh, what about my resolutions? Instead of my annual resolutions to keep my house in order and exercise more, I have resolved to hang my clothes each evening, make my bed each day and walk at least twice a week. Maybe the modified goal strategy will work for me?
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
We’re now just days away from yet another new year (and the last one according to the Aztec calendar). If 2012 really is the be all and end all, why not let your local MCPL branch help you make the most of it? Here are some surefire ways to get the most out of the new year.
1. ¡Aprende un nuevo idioma! (Learn a new language!)
Mango Languages offers online courses in over 44 languages (plus English learning courses for speakers of over 13 different languages). Believe it or not, they can even teach you how to speak like a pirate. Ahrrr, matey!
iPad and iPhone users – there’s an app
for that too, just visit the website and set up your account before going to the App Store and downloading the app. (Android users, a Mango app for your device is currently under development.)
Both of our eLibrary resources also offer downloadables fopr language learning. EBSCOHost Audiobooks has downloadble versions of the popular Pimsleur Language Learning series. However, you must have a PC with Windows Media Player to listen to them. The Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium has several language learning e-books and eaudiobooks which are compatible with several portable or smart devices.
And of course, you might find the language learning textbook or CD Book that you’ve been looking for on the shelves at your local branch.
2. Visit an uncharted territory!
Make use of that new language you just learned by planning a trip to somewhere new. The 914s-919s offer an array of guidebooks to help you on your way. Some of the more popular guides even have online equivalents (these include http://www.fodors.com
). Check out http://www.tripadvisor.com
to get the lowdown on places from your fellow travelers.
3. Discover a new you!
Did you eat too much of the local cuisine on your travels? Did that hike in the mountains show you just how out of shape you really are? Visit the 613.71s for fitness ideas and 641.563 for healthy cooking tips. Be sure to check out Montgomery County’s RecWeb (http://www.recweb.montgomerycountymd.gov
) to sign up for a heart-pumping aerobics class or to make a splash in your local pool. For technophobes, limited copies of the Department of Recreation’s print course guide are available at most library branches, community recreation centers, and county aquatic centers. If you’re free on a weekday afternoon, why not take in a session of Bone Builders
at Potomac Library. (If exercise isn't your thing, you can also learn a new skill or augment an old one. The Rec Department offers arts & crafts and cooking classes, among many others. )
Friday, September 09, 2011
Do you search for health and medical information on the internet? I do. But instead of typing words into a search engine box, I go straight to MedlinePlus
. This NIH/National Library of Medicine site provides current information on diagnosis/symptoms, treatments, drug information, etc. and tons of links to other trusted sites. It's a great place to start. I even watched a surgery video before I went on the table. OK, maybe that is not everyone's cup of tea...
Lastly, I just have to tell you how you can read research papers published on medical (and some science) peer-reviewed journals FOR FREE! In 2008, National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented the public access policy
requiring all scientific literature that contains results of research funded by the NIH to be freely available within a year of publication. These articles can be found in full-text via PubMed
or straight from the publisher sites. Other private funding organizations also started requiring the same from their fund recipients, some as early as 6 months after publication.
Contact Ask-a-Librarian service if you need help finding up-to-date health and medical information.
POSTED: 10:48:00 AM
Montgomery County Public Libraries