As we head into Christmas season, it’s time to make a cup of tea, get cozy on the couch and read a good book.
While Sophie Kinsella’s novel Love Your Life is a worthy contender (I devoured that one in three days), you might want to consider also picking up something that may help you better understand - and improve - your physical and mental health (aka. getting a head-start on your New Year’s resolution).
Personally, I’ve been reading a lot of health-related books this year and it has been quite the journey that’s taken me full-circle on how nature and health are connected. As a newly-minted gardener I started the year with a number of books covering how to grow plants and vegetables on our small patch of dirt in BC. These books piqued my curiosity about the larger impact of nature on us as human beings, which led to a search for more nature-inspired books that extolled the benefits of relaxation in the wild.
But I wanted to know why we have such an urgent need for relaxation in the first place.
While searching for the answer, my interest eventually turned to physical health, specifically women’s health - an area which doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but holds the key to many of the challenges we currently face.
Now that I have finished this part of my journey, I’d love to share my Top 5 finds with you:
(listed in chronological order)
Exercised by Daniel Lieberman
Daniel Lieberman’s book provides a foundational - and somewhat underappreciated - insight into a key reason why we have so many health issues today. Simply put, our bodies are not evolving as fast as the world around us. And exercise (on its own) is not the answer. In fact, our bodies were never designed to exercise, they were designed to “move” - something that is increasingly absent from our sedentary lives. This book provides great insight on how our bodies work and why our lifestyle choices are making us sick.
Hormone Intelligence by Dr. Aviva Romm
Many women suffer from ailments like PMS, headaches and worse - eventually resigning themselves to the notion that such debilitating pain is a normal part of life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this eye-opening book, Dr. Romm challenges what’s considered “normal” for women to put up with, and explains how they can take charge of their health by better understanding the effects of hormonal imbalances (and how to rebalance them).
Rushing Woman’s Syndrome by Dr. Libby Weaver
Dr. Weaver takes a deep-dive into the world in which women live in right now. In Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, she highlights the perceived expectations that women find themselves exposed to and the impact they have on their health. If you feel like you can’t keep up with life and are constantly short on time - give this a read.
I’m So Effing Tired by Dr. Amy Shah
Once you’ve gone through the previous books on this list and have a better understanding of why you ended up with ‘burnout’, Dr. Shah explains how you can start reversing the stress-induced damage.
Forest Bathing by Dr. Qing Li
Dr. Qing Li explains the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing”. Living in a world filled with technology, cement buildings and artificial light has deprived us of the many benefits of being in nature. Learn how to be happier and healthier by inviting nature back into your life.
My initial desire to grow food led me to become more aware of how much we depend on connecting with nature in order to heal our bodies and minds. Without this connection, we can’t relieve our modern-day stress and end up sick and tired with too little time to do the things we enjoy - like gardening or reading a good book.
PS: Remember - although it’s important to support authors by purchasing books whenever possible, if you’re tight on money, many of these may be available at your local library. In fact, my favourite way to read is on my Kobo using the Libby App - which allows me to borrow ebooks from the Vancouver Library. Now it’s time to go make that tea!
Health and Fitness have always played an important role in my life.