- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Living in the capital of Silicon Valley, and spending much of one's time in front of a computer screen, it is easy to forget that San Jose is surrounded by beautiful parks and trails. Some are actually within city limits, such as Alum Rock Park and Almaden Quicksilver County Park. There are great places to hike just minutes away from each of our wonderful libraries. Pinnacles National Monument isn't one of them, but it is incredible. It is about an hour and a half drive from San Jose. There you can see bats and waterfalls, all while spelunking! If you go to Pinnacles, bring a flashlight and some sturdy shoes or hiking boots. I recently went to Rancho San Antonio for the first time and will definitely be going back. If you are feeling adventurous, you can attempt the 550+ mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. The image below was taken last Saturday at Rancho San Antonio on the Wildcat Loop Trail. For more suggestions, check out a book such as South Bay Trails, or take a look at this blog from last year.
It’s not infrequently that the cover of a well-marketed library book grabs my attention and compels me to look a little closer at it. One such recent book, Yoga, by Linda Sparrowe, not only drew my attention, but compelled me to check it out. As someone with a long-term interest in yoga, though one who finds many yoga manuals reader unfriendly and hard to follow, I found this book to be nothing short of inspirational. This book is not a manual, however; rather, Yoga is a visual photo exploration (photos by David Martinez) of extremely advanced yoga postures. The photos are artistic and the yoga postures are simply awesome. Now, I must confess that I cannot personally perform any of the advanced postures presented in this work. Instead, the book served as motivation, and inspired me to re-commit myself to a regular yoga practice. If yoga is of any interest to you, the reader of this blog post, I highly recommend checking out Yoga, by Linda Sparrowe. I guarantee the flexibility of the practitioners pictured within it will impress. If nothing less, it’s wonderful to know there are those who can contort their bodies and maintain the suppleness of the very young. Okay, I’m off to practice now…ciao!
Periodically we have to remind ourselves, as denizens of this part of the world, that we live in a region brimming with natural beauty. What better way is there to appreciate the natural world than to take a stroll through the majesty of our parks and open space preserves here in Northern California and, in fact, the Greater Bay Area in general.
For my money, springtime in the Bay Area is the best time of the year for hiking the variety of beautiful trails, regions, and biospheres that we're lucky to have access to on a regular basis 'round these here parts. The hills are verdant and green, the waterfalls and creeks are as full as they're gonna get, and wildflowers rule the grassy regions unlike any other time of the year. That being said, get yourself ready for those planned outings on your "must-do" list or the spontaneous opportunities that exist with a book like 101 Great Hikes of the San Francisco Bay Area. There are plenty of other books to guide you if you need help, but the important part is to just get out there and breathe the cool air of hiking freedom.
M.J. Ryan, life coach and author, shows that (happily!) change is possible at any age in this highly readable and practical book. Ms. Ryan readily acknowledges that change is not easy -- whether it is in our relationships, finding or changing jobs, getting out of debt, exercising and losing weight -- or for that matter anything else! However, in concise and pithy chapters, with surprising empathy, she uses insights from psychology and neuroscience to give the reader the courage and skills to change amidst life’s many ups and downs.
Well, we're almost a quarter of the way through 2011 now...How are those New Year's resolutions going? If you're like me, perhaps you've vowed yet again to get (and stay) active this year. One of my goals was to take up swimming again as part of my exercise routine. I had just been contemplating local lap swim pools in my area a few weeks ago when I spotted Swimming for Exercise among the new books. It was like fate telling me to get back in the pool. I bought a new suit, cap, and goggles, and I was ready to go.
Swimming for Exercise has all of the basic information that you'll need to start or get back into swimming as an exercise routine, including tips and advice about what you'll need to get started, sample workout plans (adjusted for beginners, intermediate, and advanced), a techniques refresher on the four major strokes, and stretching & strength-training exercises to improve swim performance. It's also filled with lots of nice full-color photos. This simple but useful book was exactly what I needed as a final push to literally take the plunge. I'm happy to report that I've been swimming laps twice a week for a few weeks now, and I feel great! Here are some local pools in the San Jose area that offer lap swim. You can also check our catalog for additional books & DVDs about swimming.
I've been on an improved nutritional regimen (diet) the past month and am happy to report having lost nearly 10 pounds. Making the right choices about what is going in my mouth is something I've been paying a lot of attention to lately. With the help of the library, I've found some delicious ways to stay on track and to keep motivated.
The library doesn't discriminate between weight loss plans - from Weight Watchers, Atkins, Mediterranean Diet and even Weight Loss Surgery. Books in these categories range from the entire diet plan to recipe books to keep things interesting. I like simple recipes that make just a few swaps in order to make the dish more healthy but still resembles foods I was cooking before.
Because the weather is getting colder, exercise DVD's are a great way to burn off some extra calories while staying in the warm, dry comfort of your own home. Check out Bhangra Aerobics, Shred-it With Weights or Yoga for the Rest of Us: Easy Yoga for Arthritis.
I know that exercise and diet are important but so is your mental attitude - Start Living, Start Losing: Inspirational stories that will motivate you now and Savor: mindful eating, mindful life can help you think about what you're doing!