This week the book is Fitness for Dummies by Suzanne Schlosberg and Liz Neporent.
This is the second book in the 'For Dummies' range that BTBS has reviewed (here is the first one), that's because for anyone that's just beginning a weight loss plan, these simple, to-the-point and BS-free books are the way to go!
As you'd expect from the title, Fitness For Dummies goes much more in depth into the subject of fitness than Weight Loss Kit For Dummies. It breaks it down into stages from the beginning. It begins by talking you through setting workout goals and recording your workouts in a log (I do this, but via an app) as well as listing some of the ways you can motivate yourself and make working out a habit. Chapter 2 of this book is especially important for anyone just starting out as it shows you how to assess your current fitness level. Without knowing this, it's impossible to set goals and measure your progress along the way.
There's huge amounts of information on cardio workouts including a guide to the various different cardio exercises (such a running and swimming) and the cardiovascular machines you'll find at the gym, the intensity of your workouts, cooling down and warming up, rest days, interval training, and creating a cardio program. There's also a part on weight training for absolute beginners and why you should consider it as part of your weight loss workout plan.
There's a short chapter on nutrition, but if you want more in-depth information on this, 'Nutrition For Dummies' is the book to go to, as this chapter is really more of an overview. The next 'go-to' chapter for beginners that I recommend reading (more than once, ideally before beginning a workout plan and then when you've encountered your first injury) is the chapter on how to avoid injuries and how to treat them should they happen. From my own experience I can say that no matter how careful you are, when you're starting all these new fancy classes and workout programs for the first time, it's likely that you could pull a muscle and have a little pain for a couple of days. Don't feel put off by it, you'll toughen up soon enough if you heal, learn from it and carry on. Besides, if you're anything like I was a year ago (very, very, lazy) then it's kind refreshing to be able to brag to your friends that you have a 'sports injury'. Just make sure you take this book's advice to treat it.
One of my favourite chapters is titled 'Educating Yourself', the reason I love this chapter is because too many people read the latest news article or drug company sales pitch and buy into it (sometimes literally) without investigating any further into the ambitions claims a new product or diet makes. If you're the type to read an article in the health store magazine and instantly take it for gospel and rush out and by the latest super berry supplement or fat blasting seaweed mineral pill, only to realise 6 weeks later that it actually hasn't made any difference (just a dent in your bank account) then consider reading this chapter. It'll help you sort the fact from the fiction.
Much like Weight Loss Kit for Dummies, this book is the perfect beginners book. It doesn't make the silly promises that many books do: "perform this exercise every day and you'll have a bum like Kim Kardashian in 2 weeks". It cuts the gimmick rubbish and just gives you the need-to-know information, presented in a humorous style. This book has certainly helped me go from couch potato to gym bunny over the last year.