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Marvelous Us! Part III

Lis a Lacivitia Bowman Reference Assistant

Lisa LaCivita

Bowman Reference Assistant

In Marvelous Us! Part I and Part II we explored books related to our marvelous human bodies. Although popular culture over-emphasizes how our bodies may look, we often fail to appreciate how our bodies function. Whether or not you are happy with the way your body looks, the way it functions is truly marvelous. We take for granted the complex inner workings of the human body until something is out of balance, then we cannot stop thinking about it.

We are all familiar with the foundations of good health: eat well, sleep well and exercise regularly. A bit easier said than done, but there are books to help you. Eat for life and Your body in balance: the new science of food, hormones, and health are two titles to get you started. We have a large cookbook section to help you enjoy more of those vegetables and other healthy options. We also subscribe to several food magazines such as Bon Appetit, Clean Eating, Eating Well, Cooks Illustrated, Food Network and Nutrition Action. These magazines are available in print format for check out (listed in the catalog) and also as e-magazines through the Blue Ridge Download Consortium. Sometimes healthy eating starts with a new recipe. Other magazines that include recipes as part of their content are: Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Health, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Shape and Southern Living.

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One of the simplest ways to get exercise is by walking. Walking in natural areas provides added benefits.  Author Richard Louv presents these benefits in Last child in the woods and Our wild calling. Being out in nature is beneficial for everyone, especially children. Nature play at home: creating outdoor spaces that connect children with the natural world and See you at the campground are two recent titles focusing on getting children outside. The bumper book of nature and Let’s go outside! provides some ideas for activities once you are outside. Be sure to check out a Nature backpack, complete with a free pass to a Virginia State Park! There are many magazines in the library that feature wildlife. National Wildlife and All Animals are in with the adult magazines. Cricket, Ladybug, Muse Scout Life and Spider are in the children’s’ area. We have hundreds of books and dozens of DVDs that feature wildlife or can help you with exercise and fitness including yoga, pilates, stretching, tai chi, walking and running and the Mysteries of sleep.

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We know from the books we have already featured in the Marvelous Us blogs that there is a brain/body connection. Prolonged stress can be harmful to the balances in our bodies.  While we cannot avoid life’s stressors, we can choose how we react to them. Published in 2020, The stress management handbook provides strategies for confronting life’s hurdles. Are you happy? Happiness is good for our health but can be illusive at times. In Unmedicated Madisyn Taylor chronicles her own journey towards good health which involved ending reliance on numerous interacting medications. Sometimes the problem isn’t us, it is others in our life. As chronicled in The neuroscientist who lost her mind: my tale of madness and recovery people suffering from mental illness often do not believe there is anything wrong with them. In The 5 types of people who can ruin your life : identifying and dealing with narcissists, sociopaths, and other high-conflict personalities the author explains how to identify these people and presents strategies for dealing with them.

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Search the library’s catalog with your key word: happiness, kindness, mindfulness, parenting, adolescence, autism, diabetes, aging, stress, anxiety, depression, weight loss, opioid addition … You are not alone. Other people have the same issues as you, and someone may even have written a book about it. Whatever your interest or problem, we probably have a book for you and/or online resources. Dig deep, gather information, ask questions; perhaps you can find a solution. Check out a book or DVD and get to know just how marvelous you are!

Many of the books mentioned in this blog were featured in the Nature and Science and/or the Healthy Wealthy and Wise Newsletters. You can sign up for newsletters here. View back issues of newsletters here.