Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs

I am beginning the book review with the disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Simon & Schuster.  I am reviewing the book with no further remuneration.  In fact, I am going to give away my free copy to a random winner chosen from those who subscribe to this blog.  So, really, I'm not getting anything for free at all since I am giving away the book---except the distinct pleasure of reading this delightful book.  

This was the first book by A.J. Jacobs that I've read (I will definitely read others now), and as I was reading, I was surprised by the number of people in random places who would stop me and comment, "Is that the same guy who wrote (insert one of his previous titles) . . .?"  It seems Mr. Jacobs is a well-known author that I have somehow missed---until now.

The premise of Drop Dead Healthy is that the author is going to spend his time and resources to figure out which of all the "it's good for you" claims are really true.  He sometimes devotes an entire month to learn about optimal health for a specific body part---like his heart, his brain, his stomach (twice), his butt, etc.  He does a lot of research and reads scientific studies about his "body part of the month", and what the latest new medical advances say he should do.

A.J. Jacobs is very practical in his approach----for example, he says he only does interval training sessions (HIIT) once a week because the science behind them is still a little shaky and they make him nauseous!  I also appreciate his wife's comments throughout the process---sometimes she even joins him in whatever he is focusing on at the time.

Some of the approaches he tries are:
The Paleo diet
Running barefoot
Increasing his hours of sleep
Setting up his workstation on the treadmill
Neti pot
Obssessive hand washing
Disinfecting household items (phones, remotes, etc)
Counting chewing per bite

Some of them are hilarious, some are common sense.  His descriptions are always funny, yet thought provoking.

This book was an enjoyable read and it did get me thinking about my health.  I read portions out loud to my husband and he is going to read it next.  Any health book that my husband will read gets five stars from me!  

Soooooooo, everyone who is a subscriber to this blog will be entered into a random drawing for the twice-read copy of Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs.  You'll laugh and ponder at the same time---which is a good thing!

And keep track of what's going on with me at www.parentswithpurpose.com ---we're always adding something new!