This Book Could Save Your Life – Book Review

I’ve recently finished reading this book and I feel so empowered, I must share it with you.

I learned about Graham Lawton from the article that my dad wrote – Calorific Restriction For Healthy Ageing. So, I googled him (as you do) and saw that he’d just published a book on successful ageing. Just my cup of tea!

This Book Could Save Your Life

This Book Could Save Your Life: The Science of Living Longer

I ordered 2 copies, one for me and one for Dad. All being well it could help us both to age even better and at the very least it would give us a topic to share notes on. It’s been a while since we’ve read a book in common and we used to enjoy this when we were both younger.

Dad’s been dipping into his copy. I’m more of a cover to cover reader, myself. I started reading it on holiday and I finished it a few days after my return (it wasn’t as relaxing holiday as we had planned).

Anyway, I digress. Back to the book….

What’s it all about?

The title is obviously interesting – “This Book Could Save Your Life” – although I’m often turned off by such bold claims, but I like the use of the word Could It puts some of the ownership back onto the reader. I also like the “life saver” (lifebuoy) picture on the cover.

I loved it from the start. It helps that it’s an interesting read, covers a range of topics that I’m passionately interested in, and is well written.

The initial chapter is a very honest introduction of the author and his interest in the subject. Graham Lawton is a scientific journalist and, by all accounts, sounds like a pretty normal, down to earth, middle aged bloke. The style is an interesting mix of a general chattiness, some scientific (albeit fairly simplified) wording and peppered with a few puns. It was also well chunked up into logical and relevant sections.

Reassuringly familiar

Much of the content is reassuringly familiar and common-sensical (which always appeals to the rational beast that I am). However, to say I didn’t learn anything new, would be doing this book a real disservice.

It actually dispelled some of the myths (and cut through some of the cr@p) we often tell ourselves or get fed by the media. He shares his ideas / opinions through various “The Truth About…” chapters and sub-chapters.

The book covers a good range of relevant topics – from food, to exercise, to medicine etc. As a scientific writer, he is not purporting to be an expert in any of these topics. However, he uses his journalistic skills and experience to base his opinions on evidence, rather than pure emotion. Whatever the latest evidence that is (or indeed his interpretation)!

Ultimately, this book represents Lawton’s opinion. He is telling a story from one middle aged Brit who wants to age in the best way possible with the least amount of faff and effort, to others who are ready and willing to listen.

Key themes

Key themes crop up at various points throughout the book, and include:

  • Healthspan v lifespan – try to maximise the number of years in good health, rather than simply the amount of years spent on the planet!
  • Eat well – through a balanced diet and not through supplements
  • Try intermittent fasting (e.g. 16 hours without food at least once a week) to build a healthy immune system and to support successful aging
  • Hydrate well – although your body will typically self-regulate
  • Sleep is important – although don’t stress about the quality as it can stop you from actually sleeping
  • Spend time outside – for Vitamin D and access to natural light, spending time in nature etc.
  • Alcohol isn’t good for you – however you may try and justify it

I can’t really argue with any of these and it was mainly music to my ears. Apart from the alcohol one. A good reminder to cut back down to true weekend days only. Everything in moderation and all that.

Wrap up

This Book Could Save Your Life comes highly recommended. From someone that is very interested in this topic (and has read a number of books and articles on it) this has got to be one of my favourite to date.

It’s well written, presents the ‘facts’ rather than emotionally charged opinions and is well chunked up into logical and relevant sections.

A simple guide to living well and hopefully increasing your healthspan as well as your lifespan.

Could it save your life? Well, I hope I’ve given you enough of a taste to want to take a look yourself!

Life Saver

Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.