Chapter 1  “The Fitness Challenge”

This visionary chapter recognizes the challenge and demand placed on our society for optimal looks and vitality. An outpour of advertisement and social pressure is disclosed as driving forces behind this prevailing fitness facade. Chapter 1 acknowledges the time-stressed lifestyle and unmotivated nature of many individuals toward fitness, which ultimately affects their ability to improve overall health. The challenge to physical and mental well-being is then correctly steered on course, beginning with ten edifying fitness commandments. These assimilate new and beneficial ways of tackling the exercise and nutritional challenge. Chapter 1 unveils many other inspiring tools for fitness success.

Chapter 2  “Things You Must Know First”

Chapter 2 provides an extensive follow-on to the initial fitness commandments, providing a comprehensive overview to the exercise, nutrition and mind/body trilogy. Readers are informed about vital facts regarding the body’s natural metabolism and muscular properties, and how this significantly influences a fitness program. Captive tutorials outline the important aspects of aerobic exercise, metabolism, strength training, postural conditioning, body composition, food management, nutritional supplementation, stress reduction, aging and program development. Each topic sets the reader on a correct course for additional detail in successive chapters.

Chapter 3  “Your Aerobic Solution”

Chapter 3 forms the book’s premiere collection of facts and techniques for aerobic program development. General activity and aerobic exercise are differentiated, relating each endeavor to different lifestyles and calorie-expending goals. Several helpful training tips promote exercise effectiveness and safety. Today’s gamut of aerobic machines and non-machine workouts is examined, including selection of appropriate exercise attire. After resolving several popular myths pertaining to aerobic conditioning, a variety of exercise frameworks tailored for the beginner through experienced participant are examined. Details include caloric expenditure, workout duration, exercise optimization, alternative exercise and time-management tips. Home, gym and office environments are targeted to suit the busy lifestyle of readers.

Chapter 4  “Your Strength-Training Solution”

Mimicking Chapter 3’s format, Chapter 4 provides an equivalently valuable education for developing a strength-training program. Benefits include improved aesthetics, mobility, strength, tone, caloric expenditure, osteoporosis prevention and metabolic improvement. Exercise formats are devised for all levels of expertise, including the not-so-enthused individual. An extensive collection of photographs and techniques clearly partitions a variety of exercises for readers. Helpful tips address proper warm-up; workout safety; intensity building; stretching; injury prevention and treatment; and time management; plus personal training and gym selection if desired. Popular myths and corresponding solutions thoroughly address all aspects of strength training for the novice through advanced exerciser.

Chapter 5  “Your Nutritional Solution”

This dynamic chapter examines several strategies in food management, nutritional supplementation, internal cleansing and hydration. Chapter 5 does not dictate an idealized diet plan, which is almost always impossible to sustain over a long term. Instead, emphasis is placed on tactful refinement to existing food patterns using a multitude of helpful tips and strategies. Tools for quickly assessing ingested calories verses ones expended aid in balancing food intake. The necessity for activity and balancing body fat are also covered. The traditional USDA food pyramid is revised using a more applied version. The new model helps identify and counteract imbalances created by the traditional pyramid, and the effects of today’s prevalence of fast and processed food. A multitude of nutritional, internal cleansing and body-fat reduction supplements are also critiqued. The advantages of purified water over tap water are examined as an important measure against today’s municipal drinking water, and in some cases, even bottled water. Finally, an extensive collection of popular myths and facts regarding nutrition is elucidated.

Chapter 6  “Your Mind/Body Solution”

Mind/body integration is an important facet that unfortunately has been omitted from the vast majority of fitness books today. This important interaction for improving health, relaxation, stress reduction and internal healing is paramount to arm against the byproducts of stressful living. Techniques in meditation, visualization, imagery, body rejuvenation, stress reduction and positive affirmation are provided for easy practice. Additionally, today’s most popular mind/body exercise classes are introduced using an informative feature/benefit matrix. A brief synopsis of the ancient “Meridian System” and energy “Chakras” introduces readers to this intriguing aspect of healing and internal health.

Chapter 7  “Postural Conditioning”

Chapter 7 unveils a rarely emphasized, but paramount lever to physical and mental health. Postural conditioning is comprised of unique exercises and stretches specifically for muscles and neurology that hold the skeleton in healthy alignment. The spine, shoulders and hips are known areas affected by poor posture — a prominent byproduct of aging. Chapter 2’s debut of several spinal and joint misalignments is reexamined, while easy-to-do preventive exercises help resolve poor posture. Corresponding strengthening and flexibility exercises, including photographs and descriptions, are provided. Daily activities that often degrade posture are identified, including computer keyboarding, sitting, driving, carrying shoulder bags, conversing on the phone and psychological stress. Several myths and facts addressing this important aspect of health are covered. Postural conditioning is emphasized as a tool for enhanced mobility, pain reduction, decreased risk to chronic injury and healthy appearance.

Chapter 8  “Fitness for Special Populations”

This is a much needed, yet forgotten chapter in almost any fitness book. Maternal, menopausal and senior populations, for example, have special concerns regarding their health. These groups often have a perceived risk with fitness, thus inhibiting their desire to initiate an appropriate program. Other populations, such as those with diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia and Cerebral Palsy, are often at a loss in addressing the physical and mental aspects of their health. Exercise, nutritional and therapeutic guidelines are outlined for each of these important groups, including safety and necessity for professional assistance. An inspiring message is delivered for strengthening the vision and drive of these recipients toward heightened well-being. Fitness guidelines for children are outlined in earlier chapters.

Chapter 9  “Program Development”

Readers learn to handcraft their individualized fitness program in Chapter 9. This final tutorial opens with several time management examples, demonstrating how exercise and increased activity can be scheduled into a variety of lifestyles. The examples are designed to assimilate ideas for readers’ individual program development. Then, the lives of five differing persons are viewed to see how their seemingly impossible daily endeavors accommodate gradual provision for aerobic exercise, strength training, nutritional refinement, postural conditioning and mind/body development. The examples furnish tough time-management scenarios, including lifelike situations met by today’s over-committed and unmotivated individual. Super-skinny to overweight comprise the case studies: mother of three children who are in sports; heavy, over-worked professional; nutritionally-unmotivated and active interior designer; mom with a home-based business who’s apathetic toward exercise; and a lifelong rail-thin individual trying to gain size.

Chapter 10  “Conclusion”

This A wrap up of the entire book reinstates the overwhelming challenge with today’s quest for good health, fitness and mind/body development. Solutions to these hurdles are summarized. A final message is dedicated to the readers of Empowering True Fitness Success.