06 January 2023

Review: Just One Thing by Dr Michael Mosley

Just One Thing - How Simple Changes Can Transform Your Life by Dr Michael Mosley book cover

Dr Michael Mosley is very easy to listen to and I've watched quite a few of his documentaries, however surprisingly, this is my first time reading any of his - many - books. Just One Thing - How Simple Changes Can Transform Your Life presents simple and easy changes you can make daily that will have significantly positive impacts on your overall health and wellbeing.

Each 'thing' is grouped according to the time of day Dr Mosley recommends you try the activity, although naturally they can be done at any time. The categories are: Early Morning, Breakfast, Mid-Morning, Lunchtime, Afternoon and Evening.

There are 30 'things', and some of my favourites were: Sing, Stand on One Leg, Exercise Less But More Often, Eccentric Exercise, Take a Nap, Stand Up, Dance, Learn A New Skill and of course Read!

I was surprised to read about the benefits of eating beetroot (who knew) and enjoyed learning that the temperature decrease that happens after a warm bath mimics the body's natural drop in core temperature prior to sleep. This is why Doctors always recommend a hot bath 90 minutes before bed to aid sleep.

I've decided the just one thing I'll try and do more of this year is Stand Up. When we sit for prolonged periods, many of our body's functions go into sleep mode, including our metabolism! I think we all recognise that a sedentary lifestyle and sitting for prolonged periods is terrible for our health.
"Emerging evidence suggests that unless you are doing 40 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise every single day, you cannot undo the damage that sitting causes. And even worse, if you sit for long periods each day, you could be decreasing the benefits of any exercise you do." Chapter entitled Stand Up
Instead of harping on the negatives, Dr Mosley highlights the benefits of standing for a few minutes at least once every hour. I find it quite easy at night time to watch two episodes of a favourite show back to back without moving on the couch, but since I started standing more often and interrupting this period of slothing and relaxing, I have noticed an improvement. The author points out that standing up helps us maintain muscle strength, bone density and blood sugar levels and while I'll never go so far as to work at a standing desk, I am able to make small improvements and changes.

Just One Thing contains 30 bite sized topics which are very easy to consume. I recommend listening to this in small doses and coming back later to revisit any specific chapters that take your fancy or require a quick refresher.

Any time is a good time to begin a new habit or learn more about the body, but December / January seems - to me at least - to be the ultimate time of year for this type of book. One of my favourite quotes at the moment is "Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits" from Atomic Habits by James Cleary, and trying any of these 'things' from Just One Thing by Dr Michael Mosley will improve your health and wellbeing. 

My Rating:

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