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A Woman’s Guide to Healthy Aging: 7 Proven Ways to Keep You Vibrant, Happy & Strong

Book Review:
A Woman’s Guide to Healthy Aging: 7 Proven Ways to Keep You Vibrant, Happy & Strong

Brown, V Book Cover

Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP
Barlow Publishing, October 16, 2017
191 pages

A Woman’s Guide to Healthy Aging: 7 Proven Ways to Keep You Vibrant, Happy & Strong by Vivien Brown, MD, provides practical tips to empower women transitioning through midlife to optimize their health and overall wellbeing. This thoughtful, easy-to-read guide is an open, honest conversation with a friend who just happens to be a doctor of 35 years.

The title says it all, 7 Proven Ways to Keep You Vibrant, Happy & Strong. Midlife is the period in a woman’s life often filled with complex physical and mental change. Many of the changes can be overwhelming and vary from day to day and woman to woman. It’s no wonder women have a difficult time communicating their frustration to their families let alone their healthcare providers. This book can be a resource for women navigating this natural transition. It’s broken down into 7 chapters that address the aging process in women and common misconceptions with clear, concise language. Dr. Brown shares women’s stories and anecdotes to help drive the message home that “It’s never too early, or too late, to start moving in the direction of a vital and independent old age.” From how much calcium is enough, how can I improve sleep quality, how can I prevent heart disease and hip fracture, to what can I do to stay healthy and vibrant; Dr. Brown tackles it all in a straightforward, encouraging manner.

Here are a few pearls from Dr. Brown:

“I tell my patients that my definition of exercise involves thinking about activity in a positive way and making it a regular, voluntary part of their lives. I encourage them to think of being active as a way of living rather than as another item on their to-do list. After all, there is no 11th commandment: Thou shalt exercise at least five out of every seven days. Too often women think, “Okay, I have to go exercise now” and they do 20 minutes on the treadmill, while they’re focused on a million other things they have to do, and so having to exercise is just one more stressor in their day. That is not what I mean by voluntary exercise. To be as beneficial as possible, exercise should help you decrease your stress level, not increase it. It should be something that helps you really enjoy your life.”

“If you are wondering whether hormone therapy is safe, the answer is a qualified yes. Initiating hormone therapy is now considered an acceptable option for relatively young women (up to age 59) and for healthy women who are bothered by menopausal symptoms if they are within 10 years of menopause.”

“This may not be a sexy, hot-off-the-press topic that has been top of mind for you, but avoidance of osteoporosis (if possible) and treatment of osteoporosis (if avoidance is not possible) are extremely important in healthy aging, healthy living, and ongoing independence. This is an issue that deserves your time and attention now . . . before you become one of those fracture statistics! No bones about it, bone health supports healthy aging!”

Just a few snippets from Dr. Brown’s book. It’s worthwhile reading for women that want to optimize their health and maintain independence as they age gracefully.

Book review by:
Monica Christmas, MD, FACP, NCMP
Director Menopause Program
Assistant Professor
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Chicago
Section of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery


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