10 Books for Your Fitness Wishlist
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image by W Brian Duncan

The best gift you can get me is a book.

Nothing makes me happier than unwrapping a stack of books on Christmas morning. I love good fiction (like Wally Lamb) or an inspiring biography (I hope Lean In ends up under the tree this year). Books helped me get started on this journey and they help me continue to do my best and be my best every day.

If you’re still searching for the perfect gift (for yourself or someone else), perhaps a good book might be the answer. Here are my top picks for that fitness minded person on your list.

  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek: I got this book last Christmas. While not ground breaking there were passages that really made me refocus and understand my WHY. Once you know your WHY decisions are easier to make and the path becomes much clearer.
  • The Power of Purpose by Richard J Leider: This book was recommended at the Purpose Workshop I attended a few months ago. I believe in life, when we are still searching for our purpose, we try to  fill the void with other things (like food). Once we understand what we are meant to do, it is easier to channel our energy in more positive ways.
  • The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner: Our community is working on a project to infuse the Power 9 into daily life. The Power 9 principles have helped people around the globe not only live longer but live better. You may not be looking to change a community but if you want simple rules for your Island of Health the Power 9 is a great place to start.
  • Switch by Chip & Dan Heath: I recommended this book to my interns this summer. Learning to be a great personal trainer isn’t about building the most kick butt workout, I told them, it’s about being a coach. It’s about being able to guide people to change their day to day behavior. This is the best book on behavior change I’ve ever read.
  • Willpower: Rediscover The Greatest Human Strength by Roy F Baumeister and John Tierney: Yes, willpower is a finite resource. But it can be conserved and strengthen. This book has some great lessons on how to do it.
  • Slim for Life by Jillian Michaels: I like to give clients choices. I like to let them go at their own pace. This is their journey, not mine. What I like about this book is that you can pick from a long list of common sense steps and take them at your pace.
  • The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions by Celine Steen & Joni Marie Newman: I am not vegan but I avoid dairy. This book helps me take any recipe and tailor it to my no meat, no cheese, and no milk guidelines. Chapters are divided by the food you wish to substitute for (eggs, dairy, meat, etc.) and includes some very yummy recipes. My current favorite recipe is the Instant Potato Soup. It is so easy, warm and filling.
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg : This book touches on some of the same principles as SWITCH but has some extra strategies you might find handy. I found the science of how habits affect the brain fascinating!
  • Drop Two Sizes by Rachael Cosgrove: Do you need a new workout plan? Do you need some help figuring out a simple meal plan? Are you tired of paying attention to the scale? This book is for you! The workouts are functional and can be done at home plus the food rules are simple.
  • Wherever You Go There You Are by John Kabat-Zinn: A classic book that introduces you to meditation. This book demystifies meditation and gives you exercises at the end of chapter to help you develop a meditation practice.

What book has helped you forward on your journey this year? Would you gift it to someone else?

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