Tea Time with Annie Kate Rotating Header Image

Review: The Ripple Effect by Greg Wells

In The Ripple Effect, Greg Wells suggests that when we sleep better, we eat better. When we eat and sleep better, we move better. When we move better, we sleep better and we think better. When we think better, we sleep, eat, and move better. And often it takes only a 1% improvement in any area to start this positive spiral or even get out of a negative spiral.

These are encouraging messages our teens need to hear, and many parts of it are written in such a compelling way that even reluctant teens get the message.

This positive book carefully examines the four topics of sleeping, eating, moving, and thinking with details from the latest research and anecdotes from Wells’s work as a researcher in children’s exercise medicine and a professor of kinesiology. Each of the four sections ends with ‘Seven Keys’, practical ways to improve your health. The whole book is peppered with ‘1% Tips’ to begin improving your health in small but powerful ways.

As a person with energy issues, I regularly read health books for both information and encouragement. This is one of the most comprehensive, up-to-date books I have read recently, and I shared parts of it with my teens. One of them is working on an advanced health/physical activity/kinesiology credit (we often don’t name self-initiated high school courses until they are completed) and this will likely be part of the required reading.

The Ripple Effect is an independent voice that tells my teens the things I’ve learned over many years, things that will benefit their health for decades. Although I, myself, already practice many of things Wells recommends, reading such a book encourages me to keep on being disciplined about doing them; in this way it’s good for moms, too.

Here are a few helpful ideas:

  • After a night of poor sleep, planning and rule-based work are still possible, but creativity will suffer.
  • Sleeping on a regular schedule is more important than hours of sleep. (I thought it was just me, but it seems to be true in general.)
  • Exercising outside instead of inside makes it more likely you will stick with it.
  • Eating a wee bit of dark chocolate every day really does build health—this is not just wishful thinking of the self-indulgent.
  • Short relaxation breaks several times a day are very effective. Just take a few proper deep breaths and relax muscle tension throughout the body.
  • Cutting out 20 calories a day leads to a loss of 2 pounds a year, which is 20 pounds in 10 years—a potentially life-changing difference with zero effort.

The Ripple Effect is a common-sense, research-based, practical guide to health, the kind of book that is desperately needed in a society where many put off caring for their bodies until ‘later’. It is not unlike other health books, but what is special about its message is that it emphasizes the interrelationship between the four basic aspects of health and gives hope that small changes can have powerful effects.

The Ripple Effect could be used as a homeschool text for an advanced health or physical education class, or as science and math reading. It does contain speculations based on evolution as most such books do, but it also contains a lot of actual research and many practical applications of the research. A serious difficulty is that this book has no index and only a minimal table of contents, but taking careful notes can help a reader get around that.

If you enjoyed this review, you might want to connect with me on GoodReads where I eventually share what I read or friend me on Facebook where I occasionally show up

Disclosure:I borrowed this book from the library but it is one I would love to own someday.

This may be linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, Literacy Musings Monday, and The Book Nook  as well as to Inspire Me Monday, Raising Homemakers, Friendship Friday, Make My Saturday Sweet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *