Just thinking of sex makes you sneeze! Intriguing facts revealed in the best books to gift those devoted to becoming their healthiest self
- Nick Rennison picked out a selection of this year’s best books on health
- British literary critic selected tomes to suit all budgets this Christmas
- Top picks include Splitting by Amanda Ellison and Fast Asleep by Michael Mosley
SPLITTING by Amanda Ellison (Green Tree £16.99)
by Amanda Ellison (Green Tree £16.99)
From ‘ice-cream headache’ — unsurprisingly caused by eating chilly foods — to cluster headaches and the ‘dark symphony’ of symptoms known as migraine, neuroscientist Amanda Ellison takes us on a guided tour of the assorted pains in the head that we can suffer.
En route, she provides useful insights into cures and coping mechanisms, and answers some unexpected questions.
Why might thinking about sex make you sneeze? Can taking paracetamol reduce your empathy with other people’s pain? (Yes, apparently.) Should you avoid chocolate to ward off migraine? (No, happily.) This is an insightful, entertaining book. ‘Pain means something,’ Ellison notes, ‘take it seriously.’
by Dr Michael Mosley (Short Books £9.99)
Not many authors want their book to send readers to sleep, but Dr Michael Mosley does. As he makes clear, lack of sleep can make us fat and increases our chances of developing chronic problems such as type 2 diabetes.
Improving the quality of our sleep also improves our memory and interest in sex. One U.S. study of women found that an extra hour of kip significantly upped the chances of them wanting to make love the following night.
THE WIM HOF METHOD by Wim Hof (Rider £16.99)
Mosley’s own past experiences of insomnia give added weight to this absorbing guidebook to a good night’s sleep.
THE WIM HOF METHOD
by Wim Hof (Rider £16.99)
Nicknamed The Iceman, Hof has set more than two dozen Guinness World Records.
He’s run a half marathon in the Arctic barefoot. He’s climbed some of the world’s tallest mountains wearing only shorts. He’s trained body and mind to achieve remarkable feats of endurance. Few are likely to match him, but his method can be used by lesser mortals to improve health and physical prowess. His book reveals how we can exercise the power of our minds to unlock the hidden potential of our bodies.
LIFE WITHOUT DIABETES
by Professor Roy Taylor (Short Books £9.99)
Type 2 diabetes is a life-changing disease and the number of people diagnosed with it has more than quadrupled in the past four decades. The assumption has always been that it’s irreversible: once you have diabetes, it’s with you for life. And it just gets worse as time passes.
THE LAZARUS STRATEGY by Dr Norman Lazarus (Yellow Kite £14.99)
Patients have long needed a more optimistic yet scientifically sound prognosis, and Professor Taylor provides it. In his accessible, engaging book, he reveals what happens to the body as type 2 diabetes develops, and how weight loss and changes in diet and lifestyle can control — or even reverse — it.
THE LAZARUS STRATEGY
by Dr Norman Lazarus (Yellow Kite £14.99)
Ageing is not a disease, but too many of us suffer from chronic illnesses as the decades mount up. It doesn’t need to be that way, according to Dr Lazarus, who shows us how to avoid the prospect of an unhealthy old age.
Little is unexpected in his strategy: take more exercise; eat more nutritious food; keep your mind active — we’ve heard them all before. However, Dr Lazarus, physically and mentally fit at 84, is living proof of the effectiveness of his methods — and his upbeat views on growing old are very refreshing.
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