Paperback; 127 pages; 6” x 0.3” x 9”; ISBN-10: 0615141676; published January 1, 2008; also available for download
For beginning exercisers, perhaps the greatest challenge is simply knowing where to start. After all, there is no shortage of information available—but where does one even begin to differentiate between the truth and the hype? This frustration undoubtedly leads many to give up their health-related efforts before they even get started.
Fitness expert Lawrence Biscontini’s The ABCs of Fitness: An Alphabet Guide to Wellness aims to cut through the confusion and help answer the most common questions he regularly hears from new exercisers. In addition to providing readers with a solid foundation of fitness that includes the basics of strength, cardio and flexibility, Biscontini also covers common concerns like how to choose a trainer, how much water one should drink each day and how to make exercise more enjoyable. It is in this area that Biscontini’s passion and enthusiasm for fitness really shines—in his chapter on Joy, he acknowledges the importance of finding activities that are enjoyable because “an overall increased quality of life proves to be the best by-product of a fitness program.”
Biscontini also covers the common roadblocks that keep many exercisers from sticking with their programs. He covers the importance of keeping a food/exercise journal, how to set realistic goals, find the appropriate exercise intensity and how to know which machines to use at the gym. He does a particularly effective job of demystifying things like supplements, infomercial products and internet-based health information. Although each topic is only briefly covered, Biscontini packs a surprising amount of information into this slim volume. Importantly, he includes resources readers can turn to for additional information.
Although this book would have benefited from a closer edit and proofing to catch numerous typographical errors, The ABCs of Fitness is nonetheless a valuable resource for those who are just taking their first steps toward better health and fitness.
What we liked:
o A research-based book that answers common questions of beginning exercisers and includes resources for further information
o Written with Biscontini’s passion and humor, the book is both easy to read and informative
o Covers a wide range of topics and focuses on whole-life wellness rather than simply the basic tenets of fitness