At some point we all face injury, illness or other health problems. Lee Jampolsky, a psychologist and author, believes that attitude adjustments can be just as important as medical treatment in fighting physical ailments. He says that by changing your attitude, you can become stronger, achieving positive change through what he calls post-traumatic growth. Jampolsky spent a year in a body cast and suffered severe bacterial pneumonia, so this book is part clinical advice and part memoir. Each chapter includes a short exercise, such as a series of questions or a meditation, to help you apply his principles to your own life. He frequently refers to his own health problems to explain how an attitude shift helped him cope better. If you’re content with traditional medical advice and remedies, fine. But if you are looking to adjust your mind-set in hopes of making your condition easier to deal with, Jampolsky’s book may help.
Avid exercisers are careful to stay healthy in all aspects of life, right? You may be shocked to learn that workout warriors are more likely to binge-drink than couch potatoes are, at least according to a 2009 University of Miami study of frequent women exercisers. Women’s Health says the study found that “the more people exercise, the more they drink — with the most active women consuming the highest amounts every month.” One possible explanation is that those who consume a lot of liquid calories may feel more compelled to burn more the next morning. Or it may be that women who normally burn a lot of calories may feel more entitled to take in the extra at the bar. For many, both drinking and exercising are ways of coping with stress. “Exercising stimulates serotonin, which is your natural antidepressant. It makes us feel good. Alcohol has a similar effect — hence, the buzz you get soothes your worries,” according to J. David Glass, a brain chemistry researcher and professor at Kent State University quoted in the magazine. Aside from the obvious dangers, alcohol consumption can be detrimental to your fitness regimen by slowing your recovery time, causing your body to store fat, disturbing your sleep patterns and depleting your body’s water and nutrients. Moderate drinking or a healthy commitment to exercise is fine, but if either interferes with your daily life, the researchers say it’s time to raise a red flag.