I found Integrative Wellness Rules by Dr. Jim Nicolai to be a great read. First half of the book deals with strategies for reducing stress and managing everyday life, while the second half of the book deals with eating and other health choices.
The book is broken into sections entitled
Check in and Discover
Success and Motivation
Accessing Your Spirituality
Your Emotional Health and Stress Management
Implementing Sensible Nutrition Strategies
Optimizing Vitamins, Supplements and Herbs
Managing Your Physical Body
In the first section Dr. Nicolai challenges the reader to check in by asking the right questions and discover their motivation for becoming healthy. You complete this process by creating a vision board, which shows what good health means and looks like to you. He encourages you to pick three goals using the SMART-TV goals rules and find an accountability partner. I loved most of the suggestions he makes in this chapter; my favorite was the idea of finding ways to incorporate healthy activity into what you already do.
The next section "Success and Motivation" give you strategies to help you stay motivated. The most important strategy is "Do hard things first", we all know the longer we put off the things we do not want to do the less likely that they ever get done. He also covers the tricky topic of what to do on vacations. I am sure we all know the feel of coming home from a vacation needing a real rest.
I did not get much from the "Accessing your Spirituality" section. It is a mixed bags of suggestion not entirely Bible based.
"Your Emotional Health and Stress Management" was a good chapter for me. I have been dealing with a strange amount of stress lately and I have found myself unable to figure out how to manage it. I had been recommended the deep breathing exercise Dr. Nicolai discusses in this section but I loved how he incorporates deep breathing into daily life. He tells us "focus equals feeling" and keeping our focus requires asking proactive questions rather than reactive ones. This little section is packed with ideas to help actively reduce stress.
"Implementing Sensible Nutrition Strategies," is mostly advice we have all heard before, but always bears repeating.
Another section I really related to personally was "Optimizing Vitamins, Supplements and Herbs". My doctor had recommended that I take a multivitamin and even wrote me a prescription for iron; I have a hard time with vitamins. I also feel like they are a waste of my time and had given up on trying to find one I would step up on. Dr. Nicolai said, "They should make you feel better." I have never had that experience of stepping up after taking a multivitamin but after reading this book I am willing to try again.
The last section "Managing Your Physical Body" is filled with lots of great ways to fit exercise into your life style.
As a reference book, it is great that he included cliff notes of his recommendation in the back of the book for easy indexing.
Integrative Wellness Rules changed the way I view my health and fitness. It was a great read and I know that I will be picking up this book again.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review, and I was very happy that I did.