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Smarts and Stamina: The Busy Person's Guide to Optimal Health and Performance Paperback – August 30, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Grounded in cutting edge research, the upbeat and practical style invites you to build on your strengths as you support your own best habits of sleep, food, mood, and exercise." - Dr. Kate F. Hays, Author of Move Your Body, Tone Your Mind.

"This book offers a fresh approach to living a flourishing life, and ought to be on the bookshelves of anyone who wants a smart, evidence-based workbook that will walk you through every part of your daily life and show you how to challenge and improve your habits." - Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP, Author of Creating Your Best Life

"Go ahead, dive into this book! Using the latest in scientific research, the authors give you actionable steps to attack your weaknesses from a point of strength. You will have fun and make changes by reading this book, and that's a rare joint result." - Senia Maymin, Editor-in-Chief, Positive Psychology News Daily

"SaS works because YOU get to be involved. The focus is on what you will do, not what you won't. Hallelujah! I promise just owning this book will make you feel better." - Amy Tardio, Huffington Post contributor

"Chock full of humor, stories, science, and just plain good sense, this book has a light touch and a weighty message. An astonishingly powerful book to help make real change as easy as it can get." - James Pawelski, PhD, Director of Education, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania

From the Back Cover

Marie-Josée Shaar and Kathryn Britton demonstrate that health, happiness, and productivity are mutually reinforcing.

Smarts and Stamina is a highly practical workbook that will help you leverage your strengths to have lasting impact on your quality of life at work and play.  The 50 sets of health-building activities are grounded on scientific research.  By following the powerful, customizable step-by-step process, you can

* Feel in the prime of your life
* Learn how to change and change how you learn
* Choose good health habits and make them stick

Discover your own personal pathway to physical energy, mental focus, and emotional resilience.  This book is not just an enjoyable process helping you become healthier; it is a true lifestyle game changer.

"This book has a light touch and a weighty message.  Low on stamina for change? Use your smarts and team up with Marie-Josée Shaar and Kathryn Britton, who have written an astonishingly powerful book to help make real change as easy as it can get and still be real change."  James O. Pawelski, Ph.D., Director of Education and Senior Scholar, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Positive Psychology Press (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615529682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615529684
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a gem...concise, practical, relevant and empowering. Not only educates but mobilize commitment. The most important commitment you can aspire to have: to be your best.
If you are serious about your health and are looking to ignite change, this is a must read book.
Marie- Josée and Kathryn explain in plain English the powerful interconnections and dynamics systems that determine how we live.
In a friendly tone, without overwhelming the reader with scientific theory, but satisfying the need of data, they offer a reliable path to trigger progressive change.
This book removes the excuses we create to rationalize why we do not take care of ourselves. No mysteries, no magic... effective simple interventions that inevitably produce positive results.
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Format: Paperback
As a health care professional, I'm always on the lookout for books that will help empower my patients and help them to reach their healthy goals. This book provides excellent, sound information that is very practical and ready to implement. I especially love the workbook exercises which allow for introspection, reflection, and goal formation. The book is also well-written and filled with anecdotes that make it a pleasure to read. A "must have" for anyone looking to make meaningful changes in their lives.
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Format: Paperback
Smarts and Stamina: The Busy Person's Guide to Optimal Health and Performance is meant to be read with pencil in hand. The book is chock full of reflective exercises that move the reader into action. I loved the diagnostic in the beginning of the book that helps you determine where to focus first: sleep, exercise, diet or mood. I've already implemented three of the tips to living a healthier life and they work! They work because they aren't just Britton and Shaar's opinion - all of the tips in Smarts and Stamina are backed by the latest science. Besides being a great resource for oneself, as an executive coach I saw immediate application to my busy clients. I will now include Smarts and Stamina on my recommended reading list.

Margaret H. Greenberg, co-author of Profit from the Positive: Proven Leadership Strategies to Boost Productivity and Transform Your Business, with a foreword by Tom Rath
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The Smarts and Stamina approach to health and wellbeing is long overdue. The majority of books on the subject often seem to focus on nutrition, diets and exercise. While these are vital to optimal wellness, they aren't the only story and new research increasingly confirms that. Smarts and Stamina fills in the missing elements and does it in a way that can benefit anyone, regardless of where they begin. The book operates on the premise that sleep, food, mood and exercise are four points of a compass that can act as a guide towards optimal living, and that they are all interdependent. Improving habits in one area positively impacts and reinforces other points of the compass, building a solid and supportive foundation for an upward spiral of success. Backed by evidence-based research and underpinned by positive psychology theory, Smarts and Stamina is the truest and most practical guide to real wellness I've found to date.
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Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book to educators who are interested in working with young adults to be better care takers of themselves for physical and mental wellness. The book is written with a lot of great information that is presented in digestible and fun to read style and references many great evidence-based researches related to sleep, emotional management, nutrition, and exercise.

I work with students who are highly competitive and in many cases overextended in their studies and training and over the years have been concerned with how young people can learn to create balance in their life so that their pursuit of success is complemented or even shaped by intentional self-care. For many of my students, taking time off to rest or having sufficient daily sleep was not a reality they could entertain and even went as far as thinking that this would only cause them to do less well in their studies. In setting out to develop some resource material for my overworked students to whom performance anxiety is just a regular part of their day, I found “Smarts and Stamina: The Busy Person’s Guide to Optimal Health and Performance: by Marie-Josee Shar and Kathryn Britton. The book had exactly what I was looking for and what my students needed (I think what we all need).

The message of the book and the information presented were so clear – that in order to perform at our peak, to fully express our potentials, our body also needs to be at it’s the optimal condition to do these things.
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I was never a phys-ed kid. I was never into sports. I never really learned about how to eat well (my parents were pretty convinced that hotdogs and macaroni-and-cheese was a decent dinner for a kid). And while I never smoked or did anything *actively* bad for my health, I never did anything really pro-actively positive for my health either. Well that's pretty fine through most of my teens and 20s when our bodies are pretty healthy and resilient anyhow, and I was going lots of activity without realizing it (walking a lot to classes and work, dancing and so on...) but later in life (ahem...) this lifestyle clearly is not the healthiest that it could be. However, I got busy. Kids, couple of jobs, volunteer work - busy. We all know what that's like.

What I love about "Smarts and Stamina" is that it's positive short bursts of what I can do (and pretty much anyone can do!) to improve my food consumption, sleep, mood and movement. This book really distills the important things down to some practical easy basics. Of course, it still takes attention - but when something is important to you, you choose to focus on it, even if it's only a few minutes a day.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to make important incremental changes that will add up over time to a whole new better you!
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