The Just 20 Weekly Booklist contains 20 recommendations on a topic or genre for patrons of all ages. The list, curated by Lisa & Beth, is designed to proceed in level from older audiences to younger.
Life in the age of COVID-19 is difficult for all of us. Besides practicing an abundance of kindness to ourselves and others, one thing we can do to boost our minds and bodies is to maintain fitness. We hope that these titles provide some inspiration for trying a new routine or exploring new ways and methods to stay healthy.
A reminder that the library has a large collection of digital magazines with many fitness and healthy eating titles. You can get started by going to NPL Magazines online.
Spark is a fascinating investigation into the transformative effects of exercise on the brain. Ratey explains how the human brain has evolved to benefit in many ways from physical activity, including mood regulation, anxiety moderation, and the ability to learn. He also details how exercise has benefitted particular subgroups, such as those with ADHD or depression, pregnant women, and older folks. Not a how-to but for anyone who wants or needs a motivational boost to start an exercise/fitness program.
Stretching was first published in 1975 when fitness awareness was in its infancy. It features stretching routines specific to a wide variety of people and situations, including sports enthusiasts, travelers, children, gardeners, and people in wheelchairs. There is also an abbreviated version of each routine for people in a hurry, information on the stretching vs. warming up debate, and helpful drawings about the stretches and different muscle groups. Truly something here for everyone!
I could just not pass up this recommending this book which is a fun and fully illustrated exercise book that details RBG's workout, written by her trainer. Have you ever wondered what keeps the Justice, an octogenarian, so sprightly? She owes it in part to the twice-weekly workouts she does with her personal trainer, Bryant Johnson. From planks to squats to (full) push-ups, this simple but challenging workout—illustrated with four-color illustrations of the Justice in workout gear—will have you getting as fit as she is in no time.
What if pain and lack of mobility isn't due to age, but to habits? What if changing how you move can change how you feel, no matter your age? Dynamic Aging is an exercise guide to restoring movement, especially for maintaining healthy feet, better balance, and the activities of daily life. While geared to a 50+ audience, anyone can integrate these suggestions to avoid experiencing a loss of mobility later in life. Equally, you are never too old to use this book as it is never too late to improve mobility.
You know him as the host of NPR's "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!", but Peter Sagal is also an avid runner and a columnist for "Runner's World." In this book he shares stories, advice, lessons, and warnings from his experiences. For anyone who runs or is thinking of taking it up as for fitness or for the fun of it.
An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?
Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In this riveting story, journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets - from science labs at Harvard to the valleys and peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits the best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s incredible story will not only inform and entertain but hopefully to provide the inspiration to realize that we all were born to run.
Biking has seen a real renaissance in the past few years - both for fitness and ecology. At NPL we have seen this first hand through our partnership with the Energy Committee to test drive e-bikes.
Bike for Life provides a blueprint for using cycling to achieve exceptional longevity, fitness, and overall well-being for cyclists to ride longer and stronger. Filled with practical tips and strategies to keep you riding to 100—and beyond.
Here are 40 yoga poses specifically designed for gardeners' bodies and spirits to stretch, relax, and grow through the seasons. In this beautifully illustrated book, yoga poses are divided into seasonal sequences—or flows—each addressing the gardener's body, the state of the garden, and the natural world. The practice of yoga aligns perfectly with gardening in its motions, metaphors, and calming effects. On GMLC Overdrive only.
Outcasts United is the story of a refugee soccer team, a remarkable woman coach and a small southern town turned upside down by the process of refugee resettlement. It's a story about resilience, the power of one person to make a difference and the daunting challenge of creating community in a place where people seem to have little in common. It is a reminder that, when used well, sport can be a great unifier. Also available in a YA edition.
So, obviously there may be some soccer fans at NPL. And how can one not love the Women's U.S. Soccer Team and . . . Abby Wambach. Wambach has always pushed the limits of what is possible. Admired for her fearlessness and passion, she is a vocal advocate for women's rights and equal opportunity, pushing to translate the success of her team to the real world. Written with honesty and heart, Forward is an inspiring blueprint for individual growth in sport and beyond, and a call to action.
Filled with activities, crafts, games, and pages and pages of photos and fun how-tos. There's a section on walking and hiking that shows how best to plan the route and what to pack. Also, there is a list of invaluable ideas for keeping everyone energized on the hike so you don't hear: "Are we there yet??"
For more inspiration, check out Family Field Trip by Erin Austen Abbott
A novel about tragedy and the ways we overcome adversity. Jessica lost her leg in an accident and thinks she won't ever walk again. We see her grieving process and the toll that therapy takes on her mentally and physically. Being back at school, she feels so exposed and at the same time far enough away as to be invisible. Running was what saved her before, how will she find ways to survive and thrive as she navigates her new life with a prosthesis? Tender and raw in places, a book for those who understand the need to dream big.
For a younger audience, Girl Running the biography of Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon
Based on the movie Wadjda, this novel features an eleven-year-old girl who wants a bike. She needs money, so she devises a plan to sell mixed tapes of banned music. She's an ingenious rule breaker who desires the freedom that sailing by on a bike affords; for there's nothing quite like the wind in your hair, legs pumping up and down, as the wheels spin round. Set against the back drop of Middle East and challenging gender stereotypes and societal conformity, we see the lengths that someone will go to, to procure something someone else might take for granted.
Another inspirational title for a younger audience: Emmanuel's Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson
Perfect for the first chapter reader, this series is illustrated with minimal colors. Isabel bunny is mighty in spirit, discovering how to use her talents and skills. What she learns in class, helps her listen to the ways her body responds, and how she can keep it under control. Martial arts is gaining a following and these tales are filled with subtle messages that balance humor and wisdom.
For more Zen focused stories, check out Zen Shorts by Jon Muth
Gym Shorts is a series of books designed for first chapter readers, not too long and with illustrations scattered throughout. In this story, Rita has to figure out what swimming means to her. Is it all about enjoyment, or is that in opposition to competition that everyone says is important? She wants to be with her friends, but she's a Dolphin, and they are all Sharks. Does that even matter? A story about finding your way by discovering what means the most to you.
More tales at the pool: Saturday is Swimming Day, a picturebook about taking those very first swim lessons, and the fabulous Jabari Jumps about overcoming fear of the diving board.
Cork (a muskrat) and Fuzz (a possum) are two good friends who have many adventures in this gentle early reader series. The question needing to be answered this time: is it more fun to win, or to play the game with a friend? Beginning readers can see how this pair compromises so that everyone has a good time.
Don’t miss their other exciting adventure, The Swimming Lesson
A simple and sweet book, this is a bunny who knows all the poses. She also knows how much she needs to have this type of movement in her life, but it’s more of a challenge to convince her friends to join her. A lovely introduction to a discipline that appeals to all ages, focusing on posture and breath control. Don’t forget to look at the endpapers for examples of 30 different poses.
For a more instructional book, try Yoga for Kids by Lorena V. Pajalunga
This is the story of two friends, Mrs. Badger and Lulu. Through their climbing journey we get to see all the additional benefits of walking: the need to go slow and steady, learning to use a good walking stick, being curious, becoming a kind helper and a good listener. Most of all, the importance of resting and a chance to enjoy the view once you get there. Mrs. Badger’s tale is the perfect introduction to discovering the joys of outdoor exercise.
The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw would be the perfect companion read, another picturebook about climbing to the top of the mountain.
From the award-winning author of Oliver comes a book that glows from the inside out, a book that will move you to be yourself — and get dancing.
Frances Dean loves to dance. She feels the wind and she dances. She hears singing birds and she dances. In her every waking moment, she is inspired to move. But as soon as anyone is around, Frances Dean’s knees begin to tremble, butterflies start to flutter in her tummy, and she forgets how to dance. Will she ever find the courage to share her talent with others and feel free?
This is like the essence of summer, perfectly captured between two covers. Open it and rays of sunshine spill out. There are hot pages and cool pages, filled with watercolors that perfectly convey tone and mood. Just imagine, going down to the water, swimming, coming home and then doing it all over again. Being barefoot, eating outside, skipping stones, throwing inner tubes, and rolling like a river otter in the water. This is the ideal read-aloud for this time of year---lyrical prose the reads like the best sort of poem.
For more summer action, be sure to read And Then Comes Summer by Tom Brenner, more inspiration for getting outside to move in the sunshine.