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Feel Better In 5 : Your Daily Plan to Feel…
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Feel Better In 5 : Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life (edition 2019)

by Rangan Chatterjee (Author)

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581443,391 (4.44)1
Health & Fitness. Nonfiction. It only takes five minutes to start changing your life. For good. Everyone wants to be healthy. But thanks to the unceasing distractions in modern life, virtually everyone also struggles to maintain this priority. And thanks to a flood of conflicting opinions and complicated programs, figuring out how to be healthy can be overwhelming. But what if all it took to make a real difference was five minutes of your day? If you've ever struggled to prioritize your health, or started an intensive plan only to stop days, weeks, or months later, it's not your fault-behavioral science shows that most plans simply aren't built to last. From Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, a pioneer in the emerging field of progressive medicine and star of BBC's Doctor in the House, Feel Better in 5 draws on his twenty years of experience, including real-life case studies from his medical practice, to identify simple, effective strategies that will help you become healthier, happier, and less stressed. Feel Better in 5 gives you a program that shapes itself around your life. It is your daily five-minute prescription for a happier, healthier you.… (more)
Member:elhtfitness
Title:Feel Better In 5 : Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life
Authors:Rangan Chatterjee (Author)
Info:PENGUIN (2019)
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Feel Better In 5: Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life by Rangan Chatterjee

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I much appreciated Dr Chatterjee’s previous two books but I now realize that this one is actually the best, though I didn’t think so at first.

I didn’t like it so much at first because there isn’t much text and it thus isn’t like the other books. But the great thing about it is that it helps us all to really get started on doing things to improve our life (or find new ways to do so).

The basic idea is that though most of us cannot spend much time every day on various pursuits (exercises), we can all spend five minutes, three times a day, five days a week on such things.

We will feel better within days and our initiative will lead to “meaningful and long-lasting” change.

His plan is easy to follow and requires only “the smallest amount of willpower”.

He calls the various things we can do “health snacks”, some of which are for our mind and reduce stress and anxiety, some for our body to get us to move more, and some for our heart to “strengthen our essential connections”.

We should do one of each kind a day. I understand this completely as an optimal solution, but my suggestion is that we could begin by doing the ones we feel for, no matter which category they fall into.

Dr C tells us that the important thing is to get into the habit of doing our three health snacks a day. These will have biological effects on our body just like medicine (but will be much more positive – my comment). They will change our system and rewire us.

When you do some of his Body health snacks, you can “change the expression of your genes, wind back the ageing process and increase levels of the brain hormone, BDNF, which helps you make new nerve connections and may improve your mood”.

He has six tips for making changes that stick:

1) Start easy.
2) Connect each snack to an existing habit.
3) Respect your rhythm.
4) Design your environment (e.g. Leave a dumbbell by the kettle that you can work out with whenever you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, go through your cupboards and remove all the sugary snacks, and consider removing the TV from your bedroom.)
5) Use positive self-talk
6) Celebrate your success.

An example of a mind health snack is “the brain tap” – “Transfer those whirring thoughts out of your head and on to a fresh piece of paper”.

Another is “Spend five minutes each day enjoying nature, whether through sight, sound or smell”.

Being in nature lowers stress levels, lessens depression, improves mental focus, boosts the immune system, increases endurance, reduces tiredness, reduces chance of disease.

As regards Dr C’s breathing exercises, which are placed in the Mind section for some reason, these are “Simple Breathing” and “Breath counting”. They are all well and good but I’m somewhat disappointed that he doesn’t include some of the good breathing exercises he presented in one of his previous books, which I much preferred, since I don’t own those books.

The part of the book I am most enamoured of is the Body section which deals with physical exercises.

Unfortunately, most of these I am unable to do without the aid of one of my physiotherapists, who have both gone on holiday for the next three weeks. I can’t do them by myself because I can’t do an exercise and look at the book at the same time, and am unable to remember exercises in my head without having done them hundreds of times.

Some of the exercises I just can’t do with or without help, e.g. one called “wall cogs”, whatever that means. This exercise requires that one’s bottom, upper back and back of one’s head always have contact with the wall; but it is impossible for my bottom and the back of my head to have contact with the wall at the same time, presumably because my back is not straight.

I can sort of do Jogging on the Spot and Jumping Jacks, and can do Sumo Squats, and do these each day while my physios have abandoned me.

I can’t do each of these exercises for five minutes but I can do a minute or two of each one, the one after the other.

There are loads of exercises, all illustrated by photos, though personally I also need verbal explanations for these.

And, as regards photos, though the good doctor is a personable man, as I mentioned in a review of one of his previous books, I really feel we could do with fewer photos of him, and perhaps instead photos of his wife.

The heart snacks have the intention of improving the quality of our connection with friends, family and partners.

One example is the “Tea Ritual”- “Stop what you are doing and sit attentively with a friend or partner”.

Another is “Perform a five-minute act of kindness”.

A third is “Do something you love for five minutes each day”. (I presume this has to do with one’s connection to oneself.) That’s easy for me. I love reading and writing book reviews. So I do things I love for a couple of hours every day, more or less.

It’s important that we choose the health snacks we really want to do.

We are told that the “Ripple Effect” occurs, by which Dr Chatterjee means that tiny changes in routine can trigger new, positive changes in other areas of our life.

Since I’ve learnt much about optimal nutrition from the Medical Medium, Anthony William, I would like to comment on Dr C’s brain-nourishing smoothie.

He extols the values of blueberries but fails to mention the vastly superior qualities of wild blueberries, which thus would be an even better ingredient for his smoothie.

And in his “Happy Brain Smoothie”, Dr C recommends using cow’s, goat’s or unsweetened plant milk, whereas I would suggest that cow’s milk is not to be recommended.

Otherwise, his suggestions for Smoothie ingredients, such as raspberries, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger, are of course mostly excellent. (It was in fact the neuroscientist Miguel Toribio Mateas who created the smoothie.)

The book also comprises case stories so we can hear how doing the various exercises has helped Dr C’s patients.

I feel that the print could have been larger so as to take into consideration us older readers or others whose sight may not be perfect.

But, all in all, I feel this latest book of his provides an excellent help for us time-constricted and stressed denizens of the modern world. If this book can’t help us to improve our lives and ourselves, what can? ( )
  IonaS | Aug 1, 2020 |
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Health & Fitness. Nonfiction. It only takes five minutes to start changing your life. For good. Everyone wants to be healthy. But thanks to the unceasing distractions in modern life, virtually everyone also struggles to maintain this priority. And thanks to a flood of conflicting opinions and complicated programs, figuring out how to be healthy can be overwhelming. But what if all it took to make a real difference was five minutes of your day? If you've ever struggled to prioritize your health, or started an intensive plan only to stop days, weeks, or months later, it's not your fault-behavioral science shows that most plans simply aren't built to last. From Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, a pioneer in the emerging field of progressive medicine and star of BBC's Doctor in the House, Feel Better in 5 draws on his twenty years of experience, including real-life case studies from his medical practice, to identify simple, effective strategies that will help you become healthier, happier, and less stressed. Feel Better in 5 gives you a program that shapes itself around your life. It is your daily five-minute prescription for a happier, healthier you.

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