Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fit at 50 and Beyond - a Review

My Early Reviewers copy of Fit at 50 and Beyond, extruding a dozen colorful markers, creased along its thin spine on the front cover, stained with juice on the lower edge and stocked with gritty black and white photographs of people over 50 exercising, is not a pretty book. It is the kind of book that one lives with, not the kind that sits unread on the coffee table.

The text, like the rest of the book, is plain, straightforward and lacking any kind of gimmicks. I love it. At just 168 pages, Fit at 50 and Beyond is an exercise book on a diet - all facts and no puffery. This is a book for people who think Ms. Senior America is someone special, and she does in fact appear in some of the pictures.

I have fifteen books tagged "diet" in my library, but this one is unique. Dr. Gloth is not selling anything - not a sports drink, or special exercise equipment (one picture is of a man lifting a chair - "chair curls" - hah!). He is not pushing expensive pre-packaged diet food or memberships in anything. I felt throughout the book as if I could trust him to give me the unvarnished scientific facts of diet and exercise. For example, some books I have claim that all calories are equal. Now I understand that is an over-simplified approach. Dr. Goth explains how carbohydrates, fats and protein are metabolized differently in the body, and how that affects weight gain or loss.

He also gives tips such as the best time of day to exercise and why, and what to eat after exercising and why. I was born asking "Why?" and I like it that Dr. Gloth's explanations are clear and concise.

Dr. Gloth, like a good coach, includes all the effective diet and exercise pointers I am aware of, some that I didn't know before, and doesn't waste my time with silly alternatives. I wish someone had given me this book when I turned 50! But as he points out, it is never too late.

The main part of the book is devoted to exercise, with pictures and tips on good form and not causing yourself injury. There are short and sensible chapters on healthy eating, what to do to prevent a lapse in your program or if you have a lapse, how to maintain diet and exercise when traveling, and more.

Thanks to Rudy Speckamp, C.M.C. this handy little book includes recipes from an award-winning chef, at the end of chapters like a treat for your progress, and a whole chapter of them later in the book.

If you or someone you know is turning 50, this book would be a useful gift, but it could help any adult design their own effective diet and exercise program.

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