Benefits of deep breathing

It’s the new year.  For some that means a sigh of relief after the busy holiday season, for others clenched muscles and stress at the thought of taxes coming due or the pressure of New Year’s resolutions to make and another year that has flown by.

Take a deep breath.

No, really.  Take a deep breath.

The benefits of deep breathing are familiar to yoga practitioners, but in case you’re new to the technique, here are some of the benefits of deep breathing (sources below).

1. Slows heart rate and encourages muscle relaxation

2. Lowers blood pressure

3. Aids digestion

4. Massages your organs

5. Increases blood flow (which can even help prevent wrinkles)

6.  Improves the quality of blood by removing carbon dioxide and increasing oxygen levels

7. Improves concentration

8. Releases endorphins, the “feel good chemicals”)

9. Encourages good lymphatic function which helps detoxify your body

10. Elevates mood

Sources: American Medical Student Association, NPRLiving the Nourished Life, One Powerful Word, Care2

If you are looking for some tips on getting started, here are some techniques and tutorials:

Breathing techniques from the American Institute of Stress

Video tutorial on practicing deep breathing

Guided breathing exercise from RELAX

Take a deep breath.  Happy New Year!

Do you know what 2,000 calories looks like?

Most adults who exercise 30 minutes or less per day and who have average activity levels should take in about 2,000 calories per day.  But who really counts calories these days?  And what does 2,000 calories look like?  The New York Times published an article on that very topic, photographing restaurant meals (or in some cases one or two menu items) that include a full day’s worth of calories.  Take heart, though.  Scroll to the bottom of the article and check out the prepped at home meals.  Those look more like a day’s worth of food.

Check out ChooseMyPlate.gov for more information on healthy eating and try a fitness app (MyFitnessPal is one I’ve heard recommended) to get started tracking your meals and exercise to start the new year off right.  (No one will judge if you don’t start tracking until January 2nd.)

Blood Pressure Monitors Are In!

If you wish to get your blood pressure taken, please come to the HR office or request it from the branches. We have two of them. Two points may be earned if you get your blood pressure checked at least once every 2 weeks and monitor it. Ask your physician where your normal blood pressure should be before starting this so you know. If it appears too high or too low, consult with your physician.

Licking County Library Wellness

Welcome to the Licking County Library’s Wellness Program site. This page will allow you the opportunity to interact with other staff to share wellness tips, recipes, see what challenges are happening, what we offer, and tracking points that are earned for those who participate. There will be a chart that is password protected that you may access to see your progress and others. If you see others may not be participating, maybe they need a little bit of motivation! We are striving to create a culture of wellness within the Library system and this not only leads to healthier lifestyles for each and every one of us but it also helps with our insurance rate renewals for the next year. I encourage you to participate in what you can and please offer any suggestions and share recipes and anything else you may think would help make this program a success. Please feel free to comment on anything and interact and have the wellness discussion with those around you as well. Healthy lifestyle choices will lead to happier and healthier lives down the road. We are all in this as a team and should be an encouragement to one another. More information coming soon!