5 must-read books to improve your life

27 January 2016 by
First published: 15 December 2015

Like every muscle, your brain needs exercise to keep it strong and healthy. Reading is a great way to engage your brain and help ward off conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Reading is also a great way to unwind and de-stress. So, why not use your Christmas downtime to get into a good book and keep your mind active? Here’s what’s on our reading list.

Make your own rules diet by Tara Stiles, £12.99

Tara, an experienced yogi and creator of Reebok’s first yoga lifestyle line, shares her secrets to a happy, healthy, balanced life. Though this is called a ‘diet’, the book is much more than a simple nutrition plan. The focus of is more on all round wellbeing. Tara introduces fun and easy ways to incorporate yoga, meditation and healthy eating into your life. It starts with a guide to goal setting, encouraging mindfulness as you consider what you are looking to get out of the book. The book takes you through breathing and meditation exercises, as well as easy-to-follow yoga routines to boost your energy levels and reduce stress. Alongside this you will find delicious and simple plant-based recipes, designed to nourish your body.

Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson, £9.98

Written by experienced psychologist and /New York Times/ best-selling author /Hardwiring Happiness/ is grounded in advanced neuroscience. However, the book is really accessible and gives great easy to practice advice on how to improve your outlook. Rick explores how your brain is hardwired to hold on to negative experiences and dismiss positive ones. Using a mediation-based approach, he helps readers escape this cycle of negativity and search for the brighter side of life.

52 Weekends in the Country by Brigid Benson and Craig Easton, £16.59

Take and break and explore the beautiful countryside that the UK has to offer, which we so often take for granted. Plan your summer stay-cation or just admire the stunning landscapes. From wild camping in the Scottish Highlands to cosy B&Bs on the Cornish coast, the book is full of brilliant places to visit and off the beaten-track hideaways.

French Women Don’t’ Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano, £8.99

Eat chocolate, drink red wine and still lose weight. Having undergone her own weight loss transformation, the author shares her experience and her tips and tricks on how to lose weight and still enjoy the foods you love. She gives sensible and easy to follow advice, such as cutting out the processed junk but allowing the occasional indulgence. This book encourages mindful eating and advises you slowly change you eating habits rather than overhauling your diet in one go, so you are more likely to stick to it. A really interesting read with a relatable balanced outlook.

Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath, £9.98

Like having a personal trainer, health coach, motivational speaker and doctor rolled into one. The tone is not preachy and the writer is relatable. He speaks from his own experience, recounting his personal journey to a healthier, happier life. It includes tips on what to eat to keep you satisfied and properly fuel your brain and muscles, as well as guidelines on how to sleep better and incorporate movement into your daily routine. Alongside advice on how to tackle peer pressure, how to make healthy choices and how to put your happiness first. The book has been a huge success and there is now an accompanying free app to help you along your fitness journey.