Sunday, July 24, 2011

40 Days to Better Living: Optimal Health by Dr. Scott Morris

Morris wants his readers to remember that God has called us to an abundant life. He wants us to have optimal wellness, “being able to fully enjoy the life we have been given.” This book provides opportunities to do so through being inspired by people whose lives have been changed by the Church Health Center.
At the beginning of each of the six weeks, Morris relates a true story, then daily has a format to allow the reader to reflect and grow. He begins with morning reflection. This paragraph is an encouragement of God being with us on the path. He covers goal setting, expectations, setbacks, thankfulness, balance, music, as well as other topics.
Next comes an emphasis on your faith life. A thought provoking question about faith is used as a starting point for recording insights into your own faith walk. You are prompted to think about your faith life and what you might like to change. You are asked to read passages of Scripture and reflect on them.
Next is a medical section with an inquiry to your medical condition or history. You are encouraged to think about setting goals regarding the state of your health. You learn how to take your pulse, about blood pressure, concern about medication side effects, symptoms of stroke, the importance of water, and other topics.
An encouragement to movement follows. It may be a very short exercise or stretching motion. It may be as simple as an encouragement to walk a block farther that day or to breathe deeply. It may be a more intense activity to get your heart rate up, lifting your mood.
Then there is a section on work, exploring how you feel about your career and/or volunteering tasks. Perhaps there are aspects of work you'd like to change, such as what you eat during your breaks.
Each day has a section on your emotional state, such as recording daily highs and lows and the circumstances around them. There is encouragement to relax, to record your expectations, to overcome setbacks, and to keep a journal.
Family and friends comprise the next paragraph. Asking a friend to help you along your journey is suggested, as is identifying those around you who will encourage you during a difficult time.
Nutrition is the last subject covered, including what foods you buy, how you shop, and what your favorites foods are. You are encouraged to think about what you might want to change about your eating habits, creating goals. You are encouraged to read food nutrition labels, change to healthy snacks, and use low calorie substitutes.
Finally, there is an evening wrap-up with a meditation on an encouraging Scripture and prayer.
At the end of the book, Morris reminds us that we now have the skills necessary to continue the journey toward wellness. Setbacks might happen but these forty days have established a foundation to which you can return when you need to. We are reminded that God will give us the strength and endurance we need.

Included are additional resources, recommended reading, and websites.

This book is the first in a series of practical books dealing with specific health issues.

Barbour Publishing, 176 pages.

I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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