The subtitle of this book is “A Life Manual for 40+” and it’s written for everyone of that age group seeking a fresh approach to life. So, it was a no brainer for me to want to read and review it. For those that don’t know, I’m 58 and was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago. Happily, I now have no evidence of disease in my body. Eighteen months ago, I had a hip replacement due to osteoarthritis and that has given me a new lease of life. I’m back to exercising pain free again and move as often as I can. I was really interested to read this book to see how I could increase my knowledge and confidence and be inspired to keep myself in the best possible health for as long as possible.
Stuart writes in a clear, no nonsense style and brings all of the knowledge and experience that he’s gained from twenty-five years as a Fire Service Physical Training Instructor and latterly as a qualified naturopathic nutritionist. His methods are based on the importance of making changes that are easy to implement, sustainable over the longer term and that fit into busy lives.
The book challenges the concept of aging as an inevitable decline in mental and physical ability and the first chapter is dedicated to this. Stuart lays out his five vital principles for vitality right at the beginning.
Value your body and it’s potential – don’t underestimate it
Incremental steps for synergy and balance
Take consistent action – do what you love
Actively listen to your body – be in tune with it
Less is more
Subsequent chapters cover ten steps to immediately improve health, the digestive system, exercise, naturopathic nutrition, stress, getting started & staying motivated. At the end of each chapter there is an action plan so that readers can review what they’re currently doing or how they’re feeling in each of the topics and then think about actions and outcomes that would be most beneficial to them going forward. I really liked this approach as I think it helps to reinforce the information given in each chapter and gives the opportunity for reflection and identification of where tweaks may be needed.
There are simple tips and suggestions throughout the book and it really feels like we are being given a wealth of information that will help to make informed choices and changes that are right for each reader. The more technical sections in the book are written in a style that is accessible to every reader, and the explanations are clear and concise.
Throughout the book, Stuart is careful to highlight where caution may be necessary for certain types of people. For example, if you have high blood pressure like me, then you shouldn’t be attempting to lock your core as described in Chapter Four about exercise.
I think this is a great book for anyone who’s keen to discover exactly what an older body and mind can do. Coming so early in the New Year, it will be a useful tool to recalibrate or set targets for not only the year ahead but for many healthy and active years to come.