April 21st, 2014

The Library: Good for Your Health

fitnessI don’t like to exercise. There, I said it.  And I have every excuse in the world to avoid it, with time and money topping that list.  Gyms can be expensive, I’m a working mom, running is a terrible invention…the list goes on. But then Cecil County Public Library issued a fitness challenge to its employees that literally changed my attitude and my life.

I was given a one-month chart with simple instructions: GET MOVING. It didn’t matter how or what, as long as I reached a goal of 500 minutes in four weeks. Pshaw. Piece of cake… or is it?  I already knew the library had lots of popular diet books, but exercise? So I hit the CCPL website for help and boy was I surprised. There are a ton of workout options in both the DVD and video game collections, from country line dancing to yoga, pilates, Taebo, Tai Chi, kickboxing and more. I could “sweat with the oldies,” get R.I.P.P.E.D, or try belly dancing, all in the comfort of my home and all for free.

With so many choices and no more excuses, I took home the Zumba Fitness Complete Total-Body Transformation System.  The kit includes four DVDs with several levels of intensity and time commitment. From a 20-minute express workout to a 45-minute cardio blast, even I could find time to do it, and it was ok to be a totally uncoordinated person in sweatpants…I was in my own living room and I was moving!

Another great DVD is the Biggest Loser 2 Workout, featuring former contestants from the hit show. There are a couple of reasons I enjoyed this video: first, I could customize my workout and second, the people doing the exercises looked more like me! No six-pack abs in tight pants here.  It was hard, but I found that I could keep up because of the inspiring men and women from the show. If they could do it, so can I.

As I progressed through the weeks, I also began exploring the library’s other sources for a healthy lifestyle. With my library card I can access the new Learn4Life series with courses in edible gardening, weight loss and natural healing. The Health and Wellness Resource Center is an awesome tool to gain nutrition information or find healthy recipes. I also love that CCPL has lots of information for special-interest needs; if you’re over 50, diabetic, have gluten allergies or suffer from arthritis, there is exercise and health information for you, as well. Click here to see even more of our exercise DVDs.

The most important thing about utilizing CCPL’s resources is that I didn’t get bored. If I didn’t like a DVD, I took it back to my local branch and chose another one. The library made getting started on a healthier life a lot more fun. And, in case you’re wondering, I clocked over 900 minutes of exercise and lost 8 pounds thanks to my employer’s challenge. I found my motivation and am on my way to a better version of myself (but I still don’t like to run!).

How does the library support your own healthy journey?



October 31st, 2012

Best Halloween Movies

Hand raising from pupmkin lanternZombies, vampires and ghosts, oh my! Halloween is here and it’s time to get your creep on. Cecil County Public Library has some frighteningly great films to put you in the, uh, spirit of the season. Whether you’re into straight-up horror or appreciate a good brain twist now and then, here are some suggestions for your own scary movie marathon…if you dare! Cecil County Public Library carries most of these titles, so stop by any branch or call 410-996-5600 ext. 481 to put your favorites on hold!

THE SCARE-YOUR-PANTS OFF CLASSICS:
1.    Psycho (1960)
2.    The Shining (1980)
3.    Halloween (1978)
4.    Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
5.    Amityville Horror (2005 remake of the original true story)

THE STEPHEN KING HORROR FEST:
1.    Misery  (1984)
2.    Christine (1983)
3.    Cujo (1983)
4.    It (1990)
5.    Secret Window (2004)
6.    The Mist (2008)

FAVES FROM MY 1980s CHILDHOOD:
1.    It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
2.    E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
3.    Gremlins (1984)

PEEK-THROUGH-YOUR-HANDS-DURING-THE-BAD-PARTS HORROR:
1.    Re-Animator (2012)
2.    Cabin in the Woods (2012)
3.    Fright Night (2011)
4.    Dread (2009)
5.    Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)
6.    Skeleton Key (2005)
7.    Mothman Prophecies (2001)
8.    The Ring (2003)

VAMPIRE STORIES:
1.    Dracula (1931)
2.    Interview with a Vampire (1994)
3.    Twilight series – we have them all

CREEPY SUSPENSE:
1.    Paranormal Activity (2007)
2.    Paranormal Activity 3 (2012)
3.    Insidious (2011)
4.    The Village (2005)
5.    Sleepy Hollow (1999)
6.    Signs (2002)
7.    Woman in Black (2012)
8.    Sixth Sense (1999)

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS
1.    Shutter Island (2010)
2.    Girl With A Dragon Tattoo (2012)
3.    Seven (2004)
4.    Silence of the Lambs (2004)
5.    Don’t Say A Word (2002)
6.    Road To Nowhere (2010)
7.    Dead of Winter (2002)
8.    Chronicle (2012)

ZOMBIES
1.    Zombieland (2010)
2.    Dawn of the Dead (1978)
3.    Shaun of the Dead (2004)
4.    28 days later (2003)

What’s your favorite Halloween movie?


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