My Pick for Best Health and Fitness Books of 2019

Reading is one of my favorite things to do. For all of you enthusiastic and healthy readers out there, I wanted to share some of my favorite health and fitness books of 2019.
1.      “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker PhD.  This is my favorite read of 2019.  Sleep has not been something that our overworked and over stimulated culture values, but sleep is one of the most important and least understood aspects of our lives. It is critical to wellness and longevity and deserves to be a priority. Sleep is critical to learning, making good decisions, recalibrating our emotions, restocking our immune system, and regulating our appetite. After reading this fascinating book, I made an even bigger effort to ensure good sleep. After reading it and incorporating some of Dr. Walker’s observations, I have definitely noticed a difference in my energy and happiness, and how clearly I think during the day. 
2.      “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.  If you are having a hard time reaching goals, the problem may not be your goal, or your effort, but most likely it is your “system” for reaching that goal. Many times, we do not rise to the level of our goals, but instead fall to the level of our systems.  Clear makes the argument that focusing on just 1% improvement per day can change our habits, and we will eventually reach our goal.  This is an immensely useful and practical book.  It is my second favorite book of 2019.
3.     “Good to Go” by Christie Aschwanden.  Christie is a science writer and a competitive athlete. She lives in Snowmass, CO. Her book is a fascinating look at the science and pseudo-science of recovery.  Christie looks at the trend toward nutritional supplements, treatments, and products that supposedly aid in recovery after athletic training. I especially like the first question she asked: “Does beer after a race help you recover?” I won’t spoil it for you, but you should get this book.
4.     “Roar” by Stacey T Sims, PhD.  This book is geared toward the science of training women athletes.  She asserts that women are not just small men, and treating us that way limits our athletic potential. I especially appreciate her approach to weight training for women, and her message to train hard and train heavy to increase muscle mass. Building, and then preserving muscle mass, is critical for health and performance for women, especially as we age.
5.     “Eat to Beat Disease” by William W Li, MD. I was inspired to read this book after watching his TED talk, “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?”  This book is chock full of information about how to eat to prevent and reverse disease.  After reading this book, I fully realized that food really can be medicine. This is a fabulous book to refer to.