Jog on – How Running Saved My Life By Bella Mackie
Divorced and struggling with deep-rooted mental health problems, Bella Mackie ended her twenties in tears. She could barely find the strength to get off the sofa, let alone piece her life back together. Until one day she did something she had never done of her own free will – she pulled on a pair of trainers and went for a run.
That first attempt didn’t last very long. But to her surprise, she was back out there the next day. And the day after that. She began to set herself achievable goals – to run 5k in under 30 minutes, to walk to work every day for a week, to attempt 10 push-ups in a row. Before she knew it, her mood was lifting for the first time in years.
In Jog On, Bella explains with hilarious and unfiltered honesty how she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: booze, cigarettes and ice cream. With the help of a supporting cast of doctors, psychologists, sportspeople and friends, she shares a wealth of inspirational stories, research and tips that show how exercise often can be the best medicine. This funny, moving and motivational book will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems and get your life back on track – no matter how small those first steps may be.
Hardback published by Harper Collins on 27th December 2018
You can read an extract here
Frank, relatable and inspiring, that is Jog On in a nutshell. I am NOT a runner, I love hiking though and I think the similar thought processes and science that is detailed in this book applies to both equally well.
It was refreshing and cathartic to see anxiety written about in such a transparent and accurate way, the physical as well as mental symptoms and how someone can be a smart, successful woman but have been plagued for most of their life with crippling anxiety. It portrays frankly how fears hold you back, infiltrate every aspect of life and coexist with other conditions such as OCD and depression. Though not a professional (runner, Dr, or psychologist), the author has diligently researched all of these aspects of the book; providing anecdotes, quotes, and extracts from research papers/professionals all to formulate a no-nonsense yet engaging read.
The figures given regarding sedentary lifestyles and how inactive people of all ages are becoming is quite a wake-up call. You feel inspired to take care of your body, see the mind/body connection and push you comfort zones again; ideal for the book’s release post-Christmas.
Most of all it just fills you with a kind of hope, that there is something simple, free and accessible you can do to try and improve mental health symptoms, and that there is overwhelming evidence that regular exercise, particularly in the countryside, is the key to wellbeing.
One of my few gripes would be I can’t help thinking this isn’t really a hardcover type of book? I think in paperback it is easier for reading on the go and inevitably cheaper which makes them more accessible but then again there are e-format versions.
Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me this advanced review copy; all reviews are honest and in my own words.