“Eat Move Sleep”: Tom Rath Advises How to Get Healthier

Tom Rath, who’s written several bestsellers that address how we can change our behavior for the better, is just out with Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes. And he now admits the special reasons behind his obsession with healthy living. From his website:

While I’ve been reluctant to share this before, I have been battling cancer for the past 20 years. I have a rare genetic disorder that has led to cancer in my eye, kidney, pancreas, adrenal glands, and spine. In order to stay ahead of my condition, I review hundreds of studies every month to figure out how I can slow the growth of new tumors and spread of existing cancers. What I learned, not only about how to prevent cancer, but also how to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and obesity – is remarkably encouraging.

Rath also reveals a few significant principles learned while preparing this book:

  1. There are “hundreds” of steps that can help us achieve our health-oriented goals.
  2. It’s easier to work on eating, moving, and sleeping all at the same time than just tackling one of the three in isolation.
  3. Knowing we need to do self-improvement isn’t enough. “More practical short-term incentives” are what actually kick us into gear.

Let’s cut to the chase: what are some of the main things we can do to achieve better health? Rath tells Dan Schawbel, Forbes, three of his top tips:

1. Stop jumping from one diet to the next and focus on eating right for life.

2. Build movement and activity into every hour of your day. Aim for 10,000 steps a day.

3. Get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to stay sharp and achieve more.

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t even sound new. Then why do so many of us fall short?

Well, take therapists as an example. We typically don’t move for almost an hour at a time. We sit. Unfortunately, sitting is the new smoking, they now say. That means sitting is now deemed an occupational hazard. (See my previous post, “Therapists–and Others–Who Sit Too Much.”)

But what about my almost daily exercise routine? I and others might ask.

Not good enough to make up for all that sitting, say the experts. Get moving more often throughout your day.

Really? Easy for you to say.

Below, directly from his table of contents, are some other of Rath’s thoughts, in the form of nifty phrases, that represent desirable values. Some are self-explanatory; some might stimulate curiosity for reading the book.

  • Sugar is the next nicotine.
  • Judge food by the color of its skin.
  • Quality beats quantity in bed.
  • Wear a new pair of genes.
  • Move early for a better mood.
  • The danger of desktop dining.
  • Be cold in bed.
  • Try exercise before sleeping pills.
  • Organic does not equal healthy.
  • Feast at sunrise, starve at sunset.
  • Television shortens your lifespan.
  • Sleeping in only sounds good.
  • Broccoli is the new black.
  • Stick with coffee, tea, and water.
  • Put activity before exercise.

Unsure about buying the book? The website has a lot of useful and free info, including a 10-minute survey that leads to getting your own personal 30-day plan. Immediately.

Selected Reviews

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness: “Tom Rath has successfully written the operating code for human health. Reading Eat Move Sleep should be as mandatory as health insurance.”

Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: “A wonderful book you can’t stop reading. Your health I.Q. will never be the same.”

Ori Brafman, author: “Backed by science and filled with heart, Eat Move Sleep is the best self-improvement book I’ve ever read.”

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