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The No Sweat Exercise Plan: Lose Weight, Get Healthy and Live Longer    by Harvey B. Simon order for
No Sweat Exercise Plan
by Harvey B. Simon
Order:  USA  Can
McGraw-Hill, 2005 (2005)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Do you find yourself promising to go to the gym, but never quite manage to make it? Do you think about getting up an hour early and jogging around the block before work, only to hit that snooze button again when the alarm goes off? You're not alone. As Dr. Simon tells us in the Introduction to The No Sweat Exercise plan, 'we are a nation of couch potatoes'. That's a harsh reality to have to face, but many of us would rather turn on the TV or the computer, or even curl up with a good book, than brave the elements and make our bodies work off the calories from those extra cookies we shouldn't have had in the first place.

Luckily, Dr. Simon has used his significant expertise in health and fitness to put together a plan that's not only easy to follow, but easy to understand. The underlying theme apparent in every chapter of the book is a simple one: just keep moving.

In Part I, Dr. Simon explains how exercise affects every part of our bodies: our heart, our arteries, our bones and our nervous system. Even moderate exercise can cut the risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and even, believe it or not, erectile dysfunction. Sure, getting out there and sweating up a storm is a scary prospect for those of us who prefer to reach for a donut than for our running shoes ... but can we afford to remain sedentary when our bodies are groaning in protest?

The good news is, exercise doesn't have to hurt. Chapter by chapter, Dr. Simon takes us through a variety of self-assessment tests and gradually begins to change the way we look at working out. He tells us that 'daily exercise is equally beneficial whether it occurs in a single thirty-minute session, two fifteen-minute sessions, or three ten-minute sessions'. As for the exercise itself, it couldn't be easier. Did you know that simply wading in the stream for thirty minutes while fishing is all the exercise you need for the day? Not a fan of fishing? No problem! Playing a musical instrument for thirty minutes and washing dishes for another half an hour is all you need. Using a Cardiometabolic Exercise (CME) point system, Dr. Simon makes it easy to keep track of the physical activity you get on a daily basis.

The overall theme of The No Sweat Exercise Plan is simplicity. Written with a keen understanding of just how much effort the average North American man or woman is willing to put into getting in better shape, this book addresses every concern and rebuts every excuse. The suggestions for getting enough exercise during a typical busy day are easy to follow, and Dr. Simon thoughtfully includes a few tips for healthy eating. After all, he tells us, 'calories do count'. If you've resolved to make 2006 the year you 'Lose Weight, Get Healthy and Live Longer', pick up a copy of The No Sweat Exercise Plan and start making those small daily changes that will help you reach your fitness goals.

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