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Run & Read
It’s no secret that exercising daily helps to improve physical fitness, but many may not know it also keeps the brain active. Even a weekly routine of exercising can improve one’s mood and attitude and has also been known to increase positivity. According to Runners world: ‘’In a 2006 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of exercise—30 minutes of walking on a treadmill—could instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order.’’
One way the library can help their community reap these benefits is to create a fitness club. This will provide an opportunity for many to socialize, make new friends and at the same time benefit from at least 30 mins of exercise which could be walking, running, cycling or any other type of sport.
Fitness Club for your library!
Many listen to podcasts or music while exercising, but what about combining fitness with reading? It might seem difficult to run with a book in hand! However, Dunbar Library at Wright State University in Ohio has started to implement the combination of exercise and study. They did this through the purchase of special indoor bikes, with a built-in platform to hold a book or other study materials, which is a great idea and very practical for students!
Libraries have become one of the most visited places. According to Institute of Museum and Library Services, ‘’More than 171 million registered users, representing over half of the nearly 311 million Americans who lived within a public library service area, visited public libraries over 1.35 billion times in 2016.’’
Libraries nowadays, have implemented so many programs for developing soft skills—like teamwork, leadership, and communication to name a few, which is highly beneficial to individuals and the community.
How to get started
The library can help in the planning and organizing of club meetings; create a schedule, map out safe running or cycling paths in the local area, invite community members to join in, promote each meeting on social media, and most importantly encourage staff and patrons to actively participate. The library can also provide water, and healthy snacks after the activity, where possible.
Smart planning will ensure the club is a success! It is very important to be enthusiastic with promotion. Create informational posters explaining how important fitness is and the benefits of exercising as a group.
Fall in love… with running as you’d fall for books
Running is not just about losing weight, speed-racing each other or counting the miles/kilometers. It is about enjoying it and taking your time as it’s not a competition. A running club, can meet every week if there is demand for it but there’s no need to wait for 10 sign ups; even starting from just 2 people is a great beginning. Everything starts with your initiative!
Begin with easy steps, once a week or every other week, the desire often increases to wanting to run every day! Running for many people means gaining energy, getting rid of negativity or becoming stronger. According to Runner’s World people fell in love with running for innumerable different reasons: ‘’It connected one of us with our dad; it helped one of us get over a breakup; it makes one of us feel powerful; it transformed our relationship with food.’’ – Runners World
Physical fitness promotes happiness and positivity, exercise that takes place in great company, or with a running buddy, makes it much easier to stay active by being accountable to show up for the group or team.
Bad knees? No problem!
There is a popular excuse against running, commonly recited as ‘running is bad for your knees.’
Science has proven the contrary: “Studies show that running improves knee health’’ according to Boston University researcher David Felson in an interview with National Public Radio. Runners World also agree that ‘’Running strengthens your knees and it increases bone mass helping to prevent age related bone loss.’’
A day of rest after running is the key to protecting joints from damage. Running every other day provides adequate time to recover and creating the routine, will also help to balance your daily activities. Being constantly active has many benefits starting by improving mental health, which can add years to life expectancy. According to The Journal of Nutrition 30 minutes of physical activity can result in living longer and importantly, reduces the risk of cancer: “Of 44 studies conducted thus far, 32 observed a reduction in breast cancer risk in women who were most physically active.”
Creating a sport or fitness club will benefit many members of the community. Besides maintaining and promoting a healthy lifestyle, exercising as a group regularly provides many opportunities for the patrons to create new friendships, and improve social skills.
Libraries are one of the places with many active people who are willing to participate in something new. Create the group and promote each meet-up as it will serve to enrich the community, integrating people at all levels with physical activities and helping them become open to meeting new challenges.
We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!
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