People’s bodies are naturally designed to be healthy, according to this debut fitness guide.
Rather than a struggle against appetites, healthful living is a result of correct thinking and common-sense habits, Whitthorne asserts. His book’s 33 chapters, covering everything from diet and sleep to attitude, are organized around three major themes: confronting mental and physical obstacles, changing behavior, and building sustainable routines. Avoiding one-size-fits-all techniques, the health consultant offers some familiar advice on nutrition and exercise but also some surprising caveats regarding tests, body mass index, breakfast (skipping it doesn’t hurt), and the Omega-3 craze. He corrects many myths: For example, Omega-3 and “fish oil” are not equivalent, and vegan supplements will not provide easily digestible, “long chain” fatty acids. Instead of devising a new regimen or hook, the author emphasizes self-knowledge: determining the time of day one is most likely to keep exercising, recognizing hunger and satiability, and making beneficial choices. Peer pressure and the possible resistance of loved ones to change can be hurdles, and the text supplies ways to work through boredom, disillusionment, unrealistic goals, and lack of support. The author delivers suggested readings and includes helpful anecdotes and testimonials. He also draws on inspirational sayings throughout the text, which are compiled in a quote summary at the end. The concluding chapter recounts his climb up Mount Kilimanjaro with family and friends, and the appendix gives useful advice on arranging a similar expedition. Whitthorne presents an alarming thought to readers. There is no such thing as maintaining one’s health: “Either you are in decline or you are improving.” His warnings are blunt but honest and backed by evidence. He is not selling particular nutritional or exercise plans (though he recommends a Mediterranean diet) but goes deeper than the standard manual to promote an individual path. What makes his guide unusual are his recommendations for building sustainable change by turning new behaviors into habits—much of his material focuses on psychological aspects. The emphasis is not on fitness but on living—healthily, but also happily, through self-awareness and purpose.
An informed, holistic approach that cuts through the many confusing messages about health.