This book is based around the fact that most of what we’re told by the media and health industry is just speculation — a better rule of thumb is to follow your own gut instincts in regards to your health.
The one quote I got from the book sums this up nicely: “…understand that no one has total control over their health — then exercise, eat wisely, and manage stress anyway.”
The book looks at 6 key areas of our lives (sleep, stress, exercise, eating, relationships, & health screenings), and debunks the myths surrounding the health “rules” we all know and try — mostly unsuccessfully — to live by. For example: We’re told that we need to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night in order to function properly, avoid weight gain, and live a long life. Well, the authors have looked at all of the studies done, and have concluded that in reality, only YOU know how much your own body REALLY needs… you can trust it to tell you whether or not you’re getting enough sleep. Mind you, the authors also tell you that, based on their findings (from studying the studies done on sleep & health), 7 hours of sleep is a good number to aim for — but it doesn’t have to be “uninterrupted”, as we know that’s not likely to happen for most of us. 😉
The last chapter of the book, “A Pretty Healthy Life, Decade by Decade“, looks at each of the decades of a woman’s life –from their 20s on through to the 70s and beyond– and gives general guidelines on what to do to live a “pretty healthy” life without falling prey to the worries that the media can create (“If you don’t exercise for 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, you’ll die of decay & rot!“).
Overall, this is a smart book. It really is encouraging to know that, even if you’re only giving it 80% effort most of the time, you’re still going to be “pretty healthy”, and that’s enough. As long as your health habits enable you to enjoy life more — and don’t make you miserable in the process — then you’re doing okay.