‘Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Wont Break Your Health’ Realism for the Way Women View Their Health Habits [video]

Filed in Gather Health Essential by on January 7, 2010 0 Comments

We are constantly being told (by experts or advertisers) to eat ample fruits and vegetables each day, wear sunscreen, exercise for 45 minutes a day, sleep seven to eight hours a night.  The constant inundation women are recieving about living a “healthy lifestyle.”   The question is, do we really need to follow the rules, all the time?  In the book “Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Wont Break Your Health” by NBC’s chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman, Dr. Susan Love, and Dr. Alice Domar give us tips for figuring out what is truly healthy and what is mostly buildup.

The list of women’s healthy to-do lists is extraordinarily overwhelming–most women can easily rattle off the list verbatum, but most women cannot accomplish all its contents, and if tried they are so stressed they only wind up losing more sleep, eating more, and having less sex.  Everytime we turn on the television or read a magazine we are bombarded with an incredibly specific set of healthy dos and don’ts.  We give it our effort but it is unmanagable.  We give into negative thinking, if we indulge in a cookie or heaven-forbid a piece of bread! we tell ourselves we are “bad.”  In “Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Wont Break Your Health” the authors talk about the “What the hell” effect– the effect of telling ourselves that these “rules” are impossible and giving into an unhealthy lifestye, for example: “I can’t exercise for 60 minutes a day! What the hell I wont exercise at all.” Or “I’ve been ‘bad’ I ate a piece of cake. What the hell I’ll just eat the whole cake.”  Or the authors say you try your hardest to follow the rules but never feel good enough because you always seem to fall short.  Neither of these situations are healthy.  What the book tries to get across is that there is a large threshold for a “healthy lifestyle” and being “fit.”  Most women are actually in it–the key of it all is moderation.

The book is somewhat of a corrective to the definition of most of the health rules.  Telling us that it is Ok to relax the rules, in fact it is better for our health.  The book also addresses the fact that no matter how strictly we stick to the rule or falter from them, we do not have total control over our health.  There are certain things we can do to better our chances at warding off illness, but nothing is a guarantee, we need to enjoy the life we have and make the best of it.  My favorite quote from the book is, “A true understanding of health takes into account the very real presence of luck, both bad and good.”

So go out there and celebrate your life in this world, you deserve it!

Here is the clip of the authors on the Today show with Meredith Vieira:

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