Sitting Kills, Moving Heals Review

Some time ago, I received a review copy of Joan D. Vernikos’ book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Simple Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness and Early Death – and Exercise Alone Won’t.

I’ve been reading the book on and off for weeks and it has already had a positive effect on how willing I am to do household chores. 🙂

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Joking aside, Sitting Kills, Moving Heals is a book about an important topic: the deleterious effect our sedentary lifestyle has on our health and our quality of life. [Read more…]

Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up And Leave Insecurity Behind – Review

Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin NeffIn an earlier post about controlling your eating, I mentioned I was reading Kristen Neff’s book Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up And Leave Insecurity Behind.

My fitness blogging buddy Marion Shaw asked me to write a review on the book, so here it is!

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On the surface, Kristen Neff’s book has nothing to do with fitness or weight loss. Despite that, I  think it could be relevant reading for people who are trying to make healthy lifestyle changes.

And I think  it should be required reading for people who wonder why their attempts at motivating themselves by harsh self-judgments lead nowhere.

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Kristin Neff is a psychology professor at the University of Austin, Texas. She started studying self-compassion after discovering Buddhist mindfulness meditation during her last year of graduate school. Because of Neff’s background, her book is a an interesting and – in my opinion – successful combination of western psychology and Buddhist tradition. [Read more…]

How To Achieve Your Goals – A Book Review

Do you have trouble achieving your goals? Read on.

This is the perfect time to revisit a book I bought three years ago in New York. It’s called This Year I Will…How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True” written by coach and “change expert” Mary Jane Ryan.

The think the book title is pretty much self-explanatory. It’s a book written for anyone who wants to make lifestyle changes, learn new skills  or keep their New Year’s resolutions.  🙂

It is organized in four main parts, each part having several chapters for working with issues that typically rise in that phase. At the end of each chapter there are questions and exercises to work thorough.

A healthy part  of “This Year I Will”  focuses on how to pick the right goals and frame them in a way that improves your chances of actually achieving them. It also explains the concept of SMART goals, goals that are concrete, realistic and measurable.

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I particularly like the chapter titled “What’s standing in your way?” Think about a situation where  you set some goal, but never really seem to get anywhere.  It might just be poor planning, but it might as well be because you have issues that effectively stand in your way, blocking your progress. This is the how Ryan words the dilemma:

…while you’re truly committed to changing, you’re more committed to something else you’re not consciously aware of that prevents you from creating forward momentum.

This chapter speaks to me so strongly because I feel I’m in the same boat at the moment. I very much would like to make better progress with my lifestyle change (I don’t see why I couldn’t), but I think I’m actually more worried about being a failure.  Therefore, it’s better not to try too hard. I definitely can’t stand if I “fail” again!

And it’s always easy to come up with reasons for not doing something, except the reasons are really rationalizations.

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Who is this book for?

It’s for anyone who has ever wondered why they aren’t able to stick to their goals and resolutions –  90 % of human race? – and who would like to have some support on the way to improve their chances of achieving goals.

Click here to grab your copy!

Best,

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Give Your Brain Some Exercise

book Spark! How Exercise Will Improve the Performance of Your BrainA while back I read a book that changed the way I think about exercise. The book is “Spark! How exercise will improve the performance of your brain” by Dr John Ratey and Eric Hagerman.

“Everyone” knows exercise improves your cardiovascular fitness, helps you lose weight and protects you from many illnesses like heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes. If you have read health-related articles, you may also be aware that exercise is nowadays a recommended treatment for depression.

What I did not understand, is how important exercise actually is for the optimal functioning of your brain and for your overall wellbeing. It appears that physical activity is a kind of cure-all for human ailments.

John Ratey has put together lots of recent research about brain and physical activity and writes about them in a way that is relevant and accessible to a layman. The book has chapters dedicated to learning, stress, anxiety, depression, add, hormonal changes, addiction and aging.

[Read more…]