Christian, fitness

F.I.T. Faith Inspired Transformation

Faith Inspired Transformation
Author: Kim Dolan Leto
Publisher: Fedd Books
Genre: Fitness / Christian
ISBN: 978-0-9907044-0-9
Pages: 173
Price: $19.99

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Health and fitness can be a struggle when we don’t have the right support. But if we partner with God in our weight loss efforts, we may find we’re a lot more successful. God cares about us and our bodies, and if we ask Him for help, He will provide it.

Kim Dolan Leto suggests that we permanently lose the diet mentality. Weight loss and fitness are not something we do for a little while and then quit once we’ve reached our goals. Instead, we should focus on God’s goals for us for the rest of our lives. Studying God’s word, praying, eating the natural foods God made, finding proper perspective and living in joy, we can change our lives for the better. Weight loss will not be our only concern – but it will most likely occur when we turn our fitness and health over to God.

F.I.T. Faith Inspired Transformation doesn’t give us any specific diets or exercise programs. Instead it focuses on making small, positive changes and becoming closer to God. Small groups will find this a great book to study and share together.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


The Psychology Behind Fitness Motivation

The Psychology Behind Fitness Motivation Author: Dr. Kim Chronister
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Fitness
ISBN: 9781493709830
Pages: 138
Price: $9.95

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Each of us has an underlying motivation for why we may or may not choose to exercise. In this book, Dr. Chronister attempts to dissect the thought process behind our fitness choices. However, this is not a book for the common person looking for motivation. Instead, it reads more like a doctoral dissertation full of typos and grammatical errors.

Focusing almost exclusively on the motives of depressed people, Dr. Chronister presents her own process in attempting to prod them into activity. This is done through a series of questions designed to root out the reasons why they’re not exercising, and then encouraging them to begin.

When I picked this book up, I was expecting a readable explanation of why we generally choose not to exercise, some sort of motivational pep talk, and a step by step guide to starting and maintaining a regular workout routine. If that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t find it in The Psychology Behind Fitness Motivation.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness, health

Sleep Fat Wake Up Thin

Sleep Fat Wake Up Thin
Author: Kenn Kihiu
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Fitness / Weight Loss
ISBN: 978-1481948067
Pages: 92
Price: $11.99

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Maintaining an ideal body weight continues to be a struggle for many of us, and Kenn Kihiu has offered us his thoughts on how to do this. In Sleep Fat Wake Up Thin he presents his system of weight loss, the F.A.S.T. way.

Using this acronym, he presents a five-step system (modules) of eliminating unhealthy foods, adding more healthy foods and beverages to our diet, and changing the way we eat and think. These build on each other, eventually leading to healthy and lean bodies.

Unfortunately, this successful creator of the danceX Workout and 8020 Body has given us a lot of information we’ve seen many times before. His only divergence from standard diet advice is his presentation of fasting as part of our normal eating cycle.

If you’re already a follower of Kenn Kihiu’s programs, this book would probably be a good complement to what you’ve already learned from him. But on its own, it fails to cover enough new ground. However, if you’re interested in fasting, you may find this chapter particularly useful.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Paleo Fitness

Paleo Fitness
Author: Darryl Edwards with Brett Stewart & Jason Warner
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Genre: Fitness
ISBN: 978-1-61243-165-9
Pages: 176
Price: $16.95

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Many people say they have been successful in converting to a Paleo diet. But what does that mean, exactly? And how does a fitness routine fit with this new eating style? Paleo Fitness answers these questions and more.

First, this book explains why the Paleo diet is superior to the traditional diet. Then it lists allowed and non-allowed foods, along with explanations. A sample menu and several tempting recipes are also provided. A three level workout routine is then given in the form of charts showing each exercise and its corresponding page number. The largest section is the descriptions and pictures of these unique exercises.

Unlike traditional workouts, Paleo fitness is designed to work out the total body, not just isolated muscle groups. You won’t find these exercises in the gym, and they don’t use traditional weights or machines. Instead you’ll find yourself crawling on the floor in crab walk or crocodile walk, jumping like a rabbit, hanging from a bar, or going through the motions of tossing an object. These exercises are created from nature, and work the body the way a caveman might have exercised through daily living.

If you’re bored with your traditional workout and you’re ready to try something more natural, Paleo Fitness might be just what you’re looking for. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, fitness

Don’t Be a Schwoe: Fitness

Don't Be a Schwoe Fitness
Author: Barbara E. Mauzy
Illustrator: Bob Stuhmer
Publisher: Schiffer Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4295-0
Price: $16.99

Schiffer Books
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In the land of Par-zee-no live the Schwoes. One of these, a boy named Franklin, is overweight. His many chins sag and his tummy shakes like a bowl of Jell-o. Franklin likes to eat… and eat… and eat.

One day his parents take Franklin to the doctor, who suggests Franklin exercise more and eat less. Then he whispers something in Franklin’s ear that makes him smile. Franklin decides to follow the doctor’s suggestions, and makes significant changes in his life. Motivated by the prize the doctor promised him, he returns to normal size, fit and healthy.

Don’t Be a Schwoe: Fitness is a story about an overweight Schwoe who makes healthy changes in his life to become fit. But these changes wouldn’t happen as quickly and easily as they’re presented in this book. An overweight child would face many obstacles to losing weight that aren’t addressed. I would rather see Franklin overcome these obstacles in his weight-loss journey, instead of jumping into this new lifestyle willingly and effortlessly.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness, teen

A Girl’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness

A Girl's Guide to Fitting in Fitness
Author: Erin Whitehead & Jennipher Walters
Publisher: Zest Books
Genre: Teen / Fitness
ISBN: 9781936976300
Pages: 128
Price: $12.99

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Teen girls have so much going on that it’s hard to make time for health. But to be happy and successful in all areas of life, it’s important to take care of themselves. In A Girl’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness, authors Erin Whitehead and Jennipher Walters show girls the changes they can make to be more active.

Fitness begins with healthy eating, and proper diet is presented, with an understanding that we all occasionally indulge in foods that aren’t good for us. But since teen girls are also prone to anorexia and bulimia, this book also shares the signs of an unhealthy eating obsession. Developing a fitness routine is encouraged, and sample fun workouts are included. We all know it’s harder to stick with a program when real life interferes, and tips are provided on how to succeed at school, on weekends and during the summer.

Today’s teen girls are busier than ever, so it takes some planning to fit healthy habits into their schedules. Speaking in their language, A Girl’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness is perfectly suited to their needs as they learn to take better care of themselves.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness, health

Wake Up!

Author: Michelle Pearl
Publisher: Imperfect Fitness
Genre: Fitness / Health
ISBN: 978-0-557-27290-7
Pages: 124
Price: $14.95

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How many of us join a gym in the hopes of acquiring six-pack abs and losing the cellulite? We see the ads that tell us in only 30 minutes a day, we can look just like the model pictured. But is it really possible for us to have a perfect body or are we fooling ourselves?

Michelle Pearl provides a sensible look at exercise and weight loss in Wake Up! Subtitled You’re probably never going to look like that; How to be happier, healthier and imperfectly fit, this book is a realistic look at what we can achieve if we work out consistently.

Pearl knows what it’s like to be seriously obese, since she’s battled her weight since childhood. But after gaining and losing the same pounds, she developed a method that worked for her in keeping them off. Not perfectly, of course, but good enough. And she provides her insights on how you can develop your own plan.

If your goal in achieving fitness is the perfect body, don’t bother reading this book. But if you really just want to be healthy, have more energy, and look good at a reasonable size for your height, her encouraging words may be just what you need. Use diet and exercise for the right reasons, and lose the image of perfection you’ve been chasing. You’ll be much happier in the long run.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


My Gym Trainer

Author: LeAura Alderson & Jill Coleman, MS, ACSM, CPT
Publisher: MTF Publishing
Genre: Fitness
ISBN: 978-0-9821822-1-5
Pages: 80
Price: $50.00

Author’s website

Choosing and following a workout program can be confusing and overwhelming, especially to those who are new to fitness. But hiring a personal trainer can be expensive. LeAura Alderson and Jill Coleman have come up with an alternative, in their My Gym Trainer program. Consisting of three levels, these guided workouts provide several months of training programs, tailored to beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

These books are set up in a three-ring binder, with sturdy laminated pages, each providing a full workout. The binder is arranged in four week sections, with six workouts per week. Each week you’ll work out the upper body, the lower body, and the core twice, in addition to a cardio workout every day.

I received the beginner level workout program and began instituting it in my own gym. I liked the portability of the cards, since they’re meant to be removed from the binder and carried with you. But I found that the photos of the exercises were very small, and I wasn’t always sure what I was supposed to be doing. This program assumes that you’re very familiar with both your gym and the exercises themselves, and I would have liked to see a section just for explanations of the exercises.

I also found that the cardio program was much too difficult for a beginner. On day four, the treadmill intervals involved running, and I’m not sure how many beginners would want to advance much beyond a brisk walk at this stage.

If you’re not that new to fitness and you’re looking for a change of pace in your workout, or you’ve simply been away from the gym too long and want to get back, this program will help structure your program for you. But if you’re a total novice to working out, you may find it doesn’t adequately address your needs.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

fitness, health, self improvement

Size 2 For Life

Author: Ashley Marriott & Marc L. Paulsen, MD
Publisher: Stance Publications
Genre: Diet/Fitness
ISBN: 978-0-9821047-4-3
Pages: 211
Price: $21.99

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As a culture that’s become obsessed with weight management, we continue to seek out new and improved methods of shedding unwanted pounds. Size 2 For Life offers a diet and exercise plan which is designed to bring women back to their “frame-adjusted size 2” figures.

At the introduction to this book, the authors address unhealthy weight loss methods and a dangerous increase in anorexic and bulimic behaviors. Yet this very title is one that leaves me feeling uncomfortable. Most women would probably be a very healthy size 6 or 8. Size 2 feels like an unattainable and dangerous goal to me.

The 21-day eating plan also disturbs me. It is made up of mostly steamed vegetables, egg whites, chicken and turkey. There is almost no fat and very few carbs. We may be a culture who eats too many of these foods, but healthy fats and carbs are a necessity in our diets. The program also assumes the reader can understand the authors’ lingo. One item on the plan is a “protein smoothie.” This item is not explained beforehand, so the reader would have no idea what would go into one.

The main focus of the exercise program is aerobic movement and muscle toning. Since there is considerable toning of the legs in dance or other aerobic activities, the authors recommend only upper body toning. Some exercises are provided, but they suggest following the circuit at your local gym. While this may be simple, it assumes that the circuit has been properly designed for a total upper body workout.

Once the size 2 figure has been achieved, a maintenance diet and exercise program is recommended. Several chain restaurant foods are analyzed for the best choices to make when dining out.

Overall, I was not impressed with this book. I felt the diet could have been explained in terms of allowable foods that one could pick and choose from, rather than a specific plan one had to follow each day. The diet is bland, and shows no imagination in creating tasty and healthy meals that won’t feel like deprivation eating. Weighing in twice every day as recommended would create unnecessary emotional stress when body fluctuations show weight shifts. The strongest feature of this book is the recommended exercise, which is a basic strength training and aerobic program.

If you’re looking for a sensible weight-loss and exercise program, I’d suggest Body For Life, which I feel is still probably the best book on the market.

Reviewer: Alice Berger