Fit Friday – Review: Health First! The Black Woman’s Wellness Guide

Hi guys, Rose here with another “Fit Friday” entry (This is the first time I’ve had Fit Friday entries back to back in two weeks – so whoo-hoo!). This is a review for a galley read I’ve had for a while, but I haven’t had the chance to review it. I’m mentally kicking myself right now because this read turned out to be a gem. Wonderfully comprehensive health guide oriented towards black women, and I think it’s one that’s worth picking up not only for those who are looking to be more vigilant about their personal health and well being, but also to be aware of some of the research out there about the occurrences of illness and misconceptions that many may have about how to deal with matters of wellness and development.

It was a wonderfully eye-opening read and I hope that many of you will look into it.



Health First!: The Black Woman's Wellness GuideHealth First!: The Black Woman’s Wellness Guide by Eleanor Hinton Hoytt and Hilary Beard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s difficult to put into words how impressive the level of research, organization, and comprehensive detail this book has with respect to black women and dealing with a multitude of issues in the dimension of health. I think this is a necessary book to read, just as much coupled with the literature for “Our Bodies, Ourselves” but perhaps even more tailored to specific challenges that face this segment of our society.

The work, with numerous contributors and research studies from top universities, initially discusses the stages of life for black women – from adolescence to elder adult – spanning across a number of different issues, health risks, life challenges, and considerations to make. It’s eye opening also to see the kind of attitudes, affirmations, and self-dialogue that some of the women featured in this book make in the spectra of their lives. There’s even specific charts and figures for women to consider not only in noting their risks for certain illnesses in each stage of life, but what aspects to focus on when going to the doctor, or looking at specific challenges with respect to mental, physical, emotional well-being.

The dialogue moves forward to the top ten health risks that black women have, and discusses not only risk prevention and detection, but also lists numerous resources for outside perusal. I really appreciated the personal narratives at the beginning of each section because not only did it add a personal dialogue/dimension to each illness, it gave a perfect lead-in to discussions and challenges with respect to each, and how to address them.

The last part of the guide is more introspective and perhaps was my personal favorite part of the guide. The emphasis on maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit is something I think every person passionate about their health should strive to maintain, and this gives excellent dimensions to emphasize the importance of balancing each one of those. It’s not a directive guide in the sense of saying “you must do this” but rather it gives dimensions to examine and shapes how not only how many misconceptions exist, but proceeds to knock those down and examine how to best approach and gain value in those health dimensions.

I really hope that more are able to pick up this guide and see the fruits it has to bear with the level of information it provides. I would especially hope that black women, or anyone who is passionate about noting multicultural issues and challenges with respect to multiple dimensions of health among different populations would read this book.

Overall score: 4.5/5

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher SmileyBooks.

View all my reviews

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