There’s nothing like curling up with a good book that inspires you to be your best and see the world in a new way is there? We think not. Unless you pair said good book with a cup of tea and a snugly puppy. Then, you’re pretty much having the best day ever. So, if you need a little of that best-day-ever scenario in your life, read on. While we can’t get you that hot cup of tea or snugly puppy, we do have seven inspirational books to choose from that’ll fit the bill quite nicely.
1. First Ladies of Running: 22 Inspiring Profiles of the Rebels, Rule Breakers, and Visionaries Who Changed the Sport Forever
How much do you know about the history of women’s running? Do you know the brave and captivating tales of the first woman to run the Boston Marathon? The Connecticut 5-Miler? High school cross-country? First Ladies of Running dives deep into these inspiring stories of women who broke through serious cultural barriers. It’s a tribute to those who paved the way, and a motivational manual for the next generation to keep it going.
How it’ll change you: It’ll empower you to get out and run — and maybe just sign up for that race that you’ve had in the back of your mind.
2. Meditate Your Weight: A 21-Day Retreat to Optimize Your Metabolism and Feel Great
We all know that weight-loss is about more than just workouts and nutrition. It’s also about your lifestyle (think hydration, stress and sleep or lack thereof), your thoughts and your beliefs. Which is exactly why meditation is another piece of the how-to-lose-weight puzzle. And this book helps you use meditation — and the strength of your mind — to help you reach your weight-loss goals. With a 21-day plan, it helps you to improve your body image, break self-defeating habits and de-stress one day at a time.
How it’ll change you: It’ll help lighten you up on the inside, so that you can lighten up on the outside.
3. Aim True: Love Your Body, Eat Without Fear, Nourish Your Spirit, Discover True Balance!
Love your body? Eat without fear? Nourish your spirit? And discover true balance? Well, sign us up for that! That sounds sooo very FBG. And yoga teacher and inspirational speaker Kathryn Budig brings it in this book. From yoga sequences to recipes to meditation tips to DIY beauty tips to how to be mindful, this book is a little woo-woo, but in all the right ways.
How it’ll change you: This whimsical book will uplift your spirit and help you focus on what’s really important in life (spoiler: feeling your best!).
4. ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life
Not-so fun fact: almost all fitness and nutrition research is done on men. But, as we all know, women are not small men. And that’s what this book is all about: a physiology-based nutrition and training guide specifically designed for active women. With chapters on nutrition, hydration, exercise and hormones, ROAR dives into how and why women need to train and eat differently than men. It’s a somewhat dense read and suited to women who are very active and do heavy training (think tris and marathons or sports), but it’s simply fascinating for those who like to dive into the science.
How it’ll change you: It’ll make you want to roar — and give new insight into how amazing your body really is.
5. The Champion’s Comeback: How Great Athletes Recover, Reflect, and Re-Ignite
If you love sports (and especially the Olympics), you’ve probably been inspired time and time again by athletes doing incredible things, despite the odds. Be it injury, tragedy or environment, it’s those stories of comeback and overcoming that really, really fill us with awe — and motivate us to be our best. And this book helps to bring out that in you. With mental strategies (like guided imagery and mental-training exercises) for athletes of any age or skill level to get mentally psyched for competition, quickly rebound after a loss and overcome injuries (and the fear of re-injury), this book is like going into the brain of a champion and getting their secrets to success.
How it’ll change you: It’ll make you want to get in the game and be a total bad-ass. (Including the “game” of life!)
6. Daily Love: 365 Days of Celebration
All you need is love. And this National Geographic book gives you a full year of it, one day and one page at a time. With gorgeous photos and quotes all about love (love of life, each other, nature … LOVE!), each month has its own theme, and each page has something for you to reflect on for each day of the year. Definitely a book to put on your coffee table or give to a friend. And, if you’re feeling low, definitely one to flip through for an instant burst of self compassion. Comes out in November, so look for it!
How it’ll change you: It’ll help you to celebrate all the various types of love — and see the beauty in each and every person and day.
7. Hit Reset: Revolutionary Yoga for Athletes
You know yoga can help you increase strength and flexibility (not to mention the fact that it’s super beneficial for your mental state), but if you’re an athlete, you might have a hard time wrapping your head around the idea of spending key training hours trying to put your legs behind your head rather than hitting the weight room. Author Erin Taylor was right there with you … until she was sidelined by injury during her college basketball career and learned how important yoga is. What’s special about this book in particular is that it goes way beyond just showing you the moves you should do for different sports or offering a few workouts. It addresses 10 really common problems (knee pain, tight hammies), suggests poses and stretches, provides a game plan to follow (almost like a workbook!), and even has sections devoted to breathing, mental clarity, body awareness and overall balance.
How it’ll change you: If you’ve ever felt intimidated by yoga, this book will leave you feeling empowered. If you already dig yoga but haven’t made it a priority, the simple problem: solution breakdowns within each section will motivate you to get your yoga in on the reg.
And, don’t be surprised if, after reading any of these, you’re motivated to lace up your sneaks and get out there and MOVE and be your best! Hey, by then that puppy will probably be ready to play, right? —Jenn