Keep Your Health and Fitness For Life: Don't Let Age Be A Barrier by Stuart Roberts

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Keep Your Health and Fitness For Life: Don't Let Age Be A Barrier by Stuart Roberts

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Category: Lifestyle
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A book to inspire you to become fitter and stay that way into what people mistakenly call old age. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 389 Date: November 2018
Publisher: Cobb Alexander Publishing
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1527230781

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My birth certificate might suggest a higher figure, but I know that I'm only 42. I learned a long time ago that I could retain that feeling by keeping my life in balance. This meant eating sensibly, getting quality sleep and having regular exercise which I enjoyed. There was an added bonus too: I was juggling four chronic conditions and living this way meant that I could keep three of them in the background. Then a silly mis-step meant that the hip problem flared up. The only way I could get more than an hour or two asleep was to take pain relief and the duodenal ulcer started to complain. Because I was masking symptoms I didn't dare to exercise - and the black dog of depression prowled along behind me.

Sometimes the reviewing gods are kind and the book you need lands on your desk just at that moment when you know that something will have to be done. And that was how I came to read Keep Your Health and Fitness for Life: Don't Let Age Be A Barrier. I've seen books like this before, but somehow not been entirely convinced by them, so what was different this time, other than the pain which means that I can't sit down for very long? Well Stuart Roberts was a firefighter and physical training instructor within the fire service until he retired in his mid fifties. This was a man who had to be as fit as colleagues who could well be thirty years younger than him because his life and other people's lives might depend on it. He's trained as a nutritionist too. They're all real qualifications.

There's a positive attitude right from the start: don't underestimate what your body's capable of. There's talk of synergy and balance which immediately resonated with me as I know just how important that can be. You're not going to be pushed into doing unrewarding hours in a gym or eating food which you don't enjoy: you're encouraged to do what you love, or you're simply not going to keep doing it. You have to listen to your body, be in tune with how it's working and finally to accept that less is more. You mustn't overdo it either.

Does it seem like a lot to come to terms with? Well, yes, there's a great deal to assimilate but it's all broken down into gradual steps and I liked that you're encouraged to prioritise what you want to achieve. You can say that an action's not for you, right through to deciding that it's number one on your list. The pressure is taken away: you start with small steps and build up. The idea that you have to accept a decline as you get older is simply swept out of the way. (When I was 59 a doctor described me as an 'elderly lady'. I don't know which word offended me more and I didn't go back to see him again.) There are numerous examples of people who are still achieving physical feats in their nineties. I began to feel quite young.

A good range of exercises are explored and the benefits and drawbacks of each considered. I've already invested in doing my floor exercises more slowly - and was amazed at the difference it made. I'm getting back into walking again, grateful that I have the Yorkshire moors on my doorstep and don't have to walk in polluted areas. Nutrition is the largest section in the book and it's thorough. I've marked some ideas which I want to explore in more detail and looked at the way that I combine elements of my diet. I've noted several recipes which I want to try.

Possibly the most thought-provoking section of the book for me was that on stress. As you get older you cease to notice just how much stress you assimilate. I've lost count of the number of times that I've been told that I can cope, that I'll be alright - and that I've accepted that I would have to be. It takes its toll though and Roberts has some elegant ways around the problems. I've decided to be kinder to myself, even if I doubt that I'll manage to persuade other people that they should do likewise. This ties into motivation very neatly and the advice here is gold dust. I've always thought of myself as self-motivated but Roberts has ways of ensuring that you're motivating yourself to achieve your goals rather than just being busy.

The book is clearly written: it's not an academic book but one that's aimed at the man (or woman) who might be on the Clapham omnibus, but has decided to get off and walk instead. There were occasions when I wished that the final proofreading had been more thorough (if you decide to cook the sea bass recipe, don't try to heat the oven to 1400°C or you might need the author's services as a fireman), but it's a minor quibble in an otherwise well-researched, inspiring and very readable book. I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

I've a favourite quote from the book which I'd like to share:

Ideally getting older means being young for a very long time!

Keep Your Health and Fitness for Life: Don't Let Age Be A Barrier includes a list of further reading and useful resources. I'd like to add The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Dr Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr Elissa Epel, one of my own personal favourites.

You can read more about Stuart Roberts here.

Booklists.jpg Keep Your Health and Fitness For Life: Don't Let Age Be A Barrier by Stuart Roberts is in the Top Ten Self-Published Books 2018.
Buy Keep Your Health and Fitness For Life: Don't Let Age Be A Barrier by Stuart Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Keep Your Health and Fitness For Life: Don't Let Age Be A Barrier by Stuart Roberts at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Keep Your Health and Fitness For Life: Don't Let Age Be A Barrier by Stuart Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Keep Your Health and Fitness For Life: Don't Let Age Be A Barrier by Stuart Roberts at Amazon.com.

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