Thursday, 7 June 2012

Books for Friday (BFF) Personal Health

The author addresses the fact that books about personal health are too numerous to count, yet she promises to differentiate herself. Does she succeed? To a large degree she does, by breaking the process down into truly small, manageable steps. For example, in the chapter on exercise she suggests: Consistently do more than what is normal for you. So if you are a couch potato, then anything is more- she suggests ten minutes of conscious movement, a goal that might actually seem achievable to a couch potato.

Her tone is casual, not preachy and she gives examples of her own struggles. I liked her small steps concept- for alcohol she suggests two or less drink on most days of the week. Many get fit manuals say give up alcohol completely, just to start, but if someone refuses to give up their occasional drink, then they never start that program. Another tidbit is: eat breakfast even just a few days a week. Chances are if you do not eat breakfast now, starting to do it every day might seem too much, but with this approach you might say to yourself, I can do a few days, and once you see the increased energy you might keep adding days.
There are a few success stories sprinkled throughout the book. I would have liked more and I also would have liked photos- for me they bring the subject to life and I found this book a bit text heavy.

What I enjoyed most about this book and what I think differentiates it, is the focus on the mental aspects of energy. Three of 13 chapters are devoted a section called Feed Your Spirit. The chapters deal with topics such as happiness, kindness and passion. Yes, most of it we know, but we do it? Do we laugh every day, do we buy ourselves flowers, do we smile at strangers, do we hold the door? Did you know kindness is good for your immune system? Say good morning, thank you and have a great day as often as you can. Wouldn't that make your community a better place to live?
 It seems to me if we attacked the spirit part first our energy would increase, then doing the eating and fitness chapters would be easier.
I would recommend this book to someone who feels they need a change in their life but feels too overwhelmed to start.

Keeping with the personal health theme, I highly recommend this learn to run book. It is based on the SportMedBC's 13-week program that has its roots in what is now one of the world's most popular 10-K events, the Vancouver Sun Run.

I have a sentimental attachment to both this program and race. It was the program my husband and I used to get us to our first 10-km race (aforementioned Sun Run) many years ago when we lived in Vancouver, BC. On race day he looked at me and said, "There are more people running here today than lived in Charlottetown, PEI", the city from which we had recently moved.

At the time I swore I would never "learn" to run again. How naive. Life gets in the way. So here I am learning to run again for maybe the third time. I was thrilled when I picked up this book and it was based on the program that got me hooked the first time.

Why is it a great book? It has a program that is geared to injury prevention, a gradual increase in intensity and  like the "Energy Now!" book, it focuses on small, manageable steps.

For now my step are small and slow- but they are steps in the right direction.


  1. The "Energy Now" book certainly seems to be friendly to those who are starting out. I'm all for anything that gets people moving (and writing!)...pssst: thanks so much for visiting my blog :)

  2. Thanks! I enjoyed your blog very much Sandra. I have slacked off on blogging as I am taking a writing course and I may have outgrown my current topic- so thinking about how I morph into something else.