Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Here are three book reviews I wrote on books about health issues. The first book will tell you how to get younger by exercising and it may even motivate you to do so! The second book will help you learn to overcome depression, even bipolar – written by a man who was diagnosed with this. The third book will inform you about life threatening medical issues and gives valuable information

Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond
 by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge

This book is written by a doctor and one of his patients. They alternate chapters in describing what they have learned/believe about being as healthy as possible. The main message of this book is important- aging can be reversed and delayed by exercise. This message is repeated over and over and many great ideas are presented as to how to do this, how to work exercise into your life and how to make it a habit. I learned it is important to vary the exercise, to do weight lifting as well as walking or running and that you gain more strength and benefit when you push yourself beyond your limits.

The book is very repetitive and there are many slap stick comments and ski trip stories from Crowley that may appeal to some guys but not to many women or non skiers. I also thought the mention of evolution in many of the scientific descriptions is irrelevant.

The research evidence from Lodge gave convincing proof that exercise is key to good health. For example, he tells of sedentary 70 year old men who doubled their leg strength in three months. He also says that arthritis is an inflammatory disease of sedentary societies.

Younger Next Year also includes chapters on nutrition, emotions and connecting with others. Each of these topics greatly impacts our health especially as we age. A final chapter on sex reassures readers that this can continue into old age. The book hints at the importance of “spirituality” but says it’s not within the scope of the book. Yet they use Alcoholics Anonymous as an example of the benefits of connecting. The reason AA works is the “spiritual” path the 12 Steps require. 

I’ve been a regular exerciser for decades and I am a senior citizen. I added weight lifting four years ago. I can attest to the fact that this helps. My balance is better as well as my energy and strength. As a result of reading the book I’m jacking up my workouts so I’ll be even younger next year!

Overcoming Depression
And Manic Depression: A Whole Person Approach

By Paul Wider

Message from the author: “My heart goes out deeply to those who suffer from depression and bipolar. There is hope. It is possible to regain control of your life. I invite you to learn to master your moods using the multifaceted approach contained in this book. I wish you peace and wellness.”

Overcoming Depression is an unusual book chock full of information in a easy to read style with illustrations and steps to take for anyone who is depressed from one who has been through it. Wider was diagnosed with bipolar but refused to accept the diagnosis. He went on a quest to learn to manage his moods. The book has chapters on symptoms, causes, tools, needs, diet, faith and more. The author has used many avenues to help himself and after trial and error has many good answers.

As a retired clinical social worker and advocate for healthy life styles I’m pleased to know depression and bipolar can be successfully approached in holistic ways in cooperation with medical doctors. Mr. Wider’s book is a Godsend for those who read it and decide to try the various approaches to master their moods.

The Day I Died by Steve Sjogren

I reread The Day I Died after telling a friend about this book. She asked me if we had a Living Will and specifically wondered about water being withheld – an item on the usual Living Will. In the book Sjogren says that Terry Schiavo “died a slow and painful death due to dehydration.” He also tells of his own medical trials and says “of all the pain I experienced in life nothing comes close to the pain of being dry in the mouth for 7 to 10 days.” Sjogren describes his near death experiences of God’s reassurance and offers valuable thoughts about medical care and especially end of life care – and much more.

Steve Sjogren, former pastor of the Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati tells a gripping true story of a simple surgery gone awry. He “died” twice during this and lives today because his wife didn’t listen to the claims that he had lost brain capacity while in a coma. She refused to pull the plug. His church and thousands of people across the country prayed for him and the prayers plus a new doctor and hospital pulled him back from the brink of death.

Much of the book describes the lessons Sjogren learned as a result of having to slow down. These are valuable lessons for all of us. His positive suggestions for what to say when visiting a dying friend are valuable. His life long daily practice of journaling and setting goals fascinated me also. This is an intriguing and valuable book.

Blessings, Dottie

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:2-3

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