New years bring new resolutions. And for many of us, these resolutions focus on health and fitness. Whether it’s a decision to start eating healthier, a vow to exercise daily, or simply a desire to slow down during the day and practice mindful breathing, we use the new year to as a proverbial restart button for our minds and our bodies. And libraries are here to help.
Libraries of all types across the United States are helping their communities get physically and mentally fit, offering everything from fitness classes and tai chi instruction to introductory courses on transcendental meditation. Here are some of I Love Libraries’ favorites:
Prince George’s County (Md.) Memorial Library System partnered with the soccer team D.C. United, specifically team mascot Talon the Bald Eagle, on Talon’s Workout Tapes, a series of free exercise videos that debuted in April 2020 on the library’s website. The videos feature Talon and D.C. United players demonstrating physical activities that kids and families can do at home without equipment.
Students at Monona Grove (Wisc.) High School can enjoy yoga classes before and after school as a part of the school’s yoga club, organized by library media and technology teacher Michelle Schaub. After school classes are held in the cafeteria, but early rising students can enjoy their morning yoga practice in the school library. Schaub also offers mindfulness activities like relaxation strategies, Legos, and coloring books in the library for students, too.
University of Miami (UM) Libraries offers introductory mindfulness sessions for health and well-being. These online sessions—led by Kelly Miller, a certified mindfulness teacher and associate dean in the UM Libraries, and Scott Rogers, director of the University of Miami School of Law’s Mindfulness in Law Program, and Gisele Rocha, a certified yoga teacher and Manager in UM Libraries’ Creative—introduce the fundamentals of mindfulness meditation and movement with periods of guided practice and opportunities for reflection and questions.
Louisville (Ohio) Public Library’s Sensory Space was created with the needs of those with sensory processing disorders, autism, dementia, and learning disabilities in mind, but everyone is welcome. The room features equipment and toys that engage the senses with fiber optic colors, interactive sounds, and a variety of tactile experiences. The library also offers teen relaxation sessions and adult chair yoga.
And don’t forget about all of the many online mindfulness resources, chair-based exercises classes, and senior fitness programs that libraries have to offer, too! Are you looking to start 2022 with a fit mind and body? Visit your local library!
Photo by Vecteezy.