Great read for your mind

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Winter is always a great time to consume a few great books. This year, I want to look at a few books that will give you helpful tools to aid in your success for overall health and wellness.

Over the last few years, I have written a fair amount about the order of three. What I mean by this is structuring your health and wellness in the order of mind, nutrition and exercise. Following a specific order that starts with preparing your mind for positive thoughts and mental discipline is needed by most people to handle the commitment of good nutrition and exercise.

Reading these books can help give you insight into positive habit forming and mental preparedness. All four of these books are packed with tools one can use to bolster their efforts for a truly successful shift to health and wellness.

Here are my four recommended must-reads:

‘Spark’ — John Ratey

“Spark” is a great read for anyone wishing to transform their health and wellness. Often when you try to start an exercise regimen, it is your mind that blocks your desire to exercise. This book can help you understand the amazing benefits exercise has on your mental state and mental health. Although this book does have sections that deep dive a bit much for laymen regarding neuroscience, it certainly explains the positive effects exercise has on the brain. There are so many take aways in the book that can be applied to you and your family’s concerns about mental health issues and even mental problems as we age. “Spark” gets right to it in the first chapter where the author shows how a few unconventional school districts increased test scores and lowered behavioral issues by introducing morning exercise programs.

‘Tools of Titans’

— Tim Ferriss

There is a lot of information packed into this book. Tim Ferriss has taken many of his best podcasts of successful people and condensed them into a useful tool kit. The information touches on everything from motivation, habit building, life hacks and philosophies for finding success in life. Easy to read but a little fragmented at times. I would not say it is Tim’s best work, but I like the fact that you can grab chunks of information that can be applied in positive and supportive ways for the reader. There is enough here to span a very wide audience. In conclusion, “Titans” has some pretty useful information that can help you build consistency in your health and wellness efforts. Another book of Tim’s that I would recommend and will review in a future column is the “4 Hour Work Week,” also a very good read.

‘The Power of Myth’ — Joseph Campbell

I am sure many of you have read this book at some point in the last 28 years, but there are many who have not and it is a great book to re-read if it’s been awhile. If your high school aged kids have not read this book, I recommend it for any young traveler of life. This book to me is as much a health and wellness book as it is a book of myths, history wisdom and spirituality. Joseph Campbell takes you on a journey of finding your inward self and the inner harmony within our selves. I think this book can be foundational to a well-balanced life, giving understanding into so many aspects of true wellness. Campbell’s philosophies certainly go deep into how our belief systems work and the effect it has on how we live a motivated life.

‘What Doesn’t Kill US’ — Scott Carney

Modern life has certainly made us softer and less resilient then our ancestors. This book is a great study on how adverse conditions can have lasting health benefits. The topic in this case covers exposing oneself to strenuous physical training in extremely cold environments such as snow and icy water and its impact on your body. One aspect that I really respect is the research and personal effort put forth by the author Scott Carney who takes up the challenge to find out if extreme conditions and environments can be used to stimulate under used aspects of our human biology. I have added this book to the review list since it explores the connection between the mind and the body that shows physical conditioning can remove mental limitations.

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Judd Jones is a director for The Hagadone Corporation in Coeur d’Alene.

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