Saturday, December 29, 2012

Health & Fitness Books You Should Read

Over the past year I have read some excellent health/fitness books that you may want to check out. The first is a book by Dr. Robert McMurray who is a Professor at the University of North Carolina and is the Director of the Applied Physiology Lab. His book is Concepts in Fitness Programming (CRC Press, 1999) and would be ideal for the exercise science student, personal trainer or the typical exerciser looking for a better understanding of the principles of program design. The book is well written and offers 19 chapters that cover four sections: exercise physiology, fitness assessments and program design, medical and legal issues, and nutrition/weight control.

Another interesting book was written by Dan Buettner and is titled The Blue Zones (2nd Ed, National Geographic, 2012). It looks at what people are doing in different parts of the world to live longer. The Blue Zones refer to the healthiest corners of the globe. The premise of the book is simple - "If you can optimize your lifestyle, you may gain back an extra decade of good life you'd otherwise miss."

Before I worked at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (1994-1999) there was a great book that was written by William Evans, PhD and Irv Rosenberg, MD who both worked there, called BIOMARKERS: The 10 Determinants of Aging You Can Control (Simon and Shuster, 1991). This is the book that led me to the field of exercise physiology. I have had the pleasure of meeting both of these inspiring researchers and actually worked with Bill Evans and Roger Fielding back in 1988.  I was invited to travel to Bryant College in R.I with them to assist with testing members of the Patriots football team who at the time practiced there - yes, that was pretty cool. Anyway, this is a book that everyone should read because it talks about some of the things we have control of that can change the way we age. I read it back when it first came out and picked it up again recently. It is a must have for everyones library.

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