I highly recommend Live a Little: Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health by Dr. Susan Love and Alice Domar.
Having spent ten months reading Dr. Love’s Breast Bible during my cancer journey, I was more than ready to follow her advice and that of her co-author, a psychologist with expertise in stress and women’s health.
I found it refreshing to learn that Dr. Love didn’t start a fitness program until age 50. She had no regrets about this late start; she spent her younger days doing research, working with breast cancer patients, writing books, and raising a family.
The authors take on the health police (TV experts, magazine writers, trainers, well-meaning friends and neighbors) and provide us with a realistic view of what’s healthy and what is mostly hype. In short, they show us how to be healthy without driving ourselves crazy.
They recommend we trade in the illusion of becoming perfectly healthy for something more fun and doable: becoming pretty healthy. How reassuring to read that self-care doesn’t require large outlays of money and time. All we have to do is find something—anything—that makes us feel better about ourselves and make it part of our daily regimens. Effective self-care is all about developing and maintaining positive habits.
In the last chapter, Dr. Love and Ms. Domar provide general guidelines for living a pretty healthy life that includes laughter, relaxation, and common sense.
Long overdue advice.
Dr. Love designed the following quiz to assess a woman’s fitness level:
1. Are you able to walk for one mile in twenty minutes or less?
2. Can you jog a mile without stopping?
3. Can you stand on one foot and maintain your balance for thirty seconds?
4. Sit in a chair. Can you stand up without using your arms?
5. Can you lift and carry two grocery bags–one in each hand?
Anyone who is able to answer yes to every question demonstrates a basic level of cardiovascular fitness, strength, and balance. YOU ARE PRETTY HEALTHY!!
On a personal note…
I was able to answer yes to four of the above questions. I need to work on #2.