Latest Book Picks: Physical Activity, Exercise, Fitness

Best books I’ve seen lately on physical activity, exercise, fitness.  Add your suggestions (or opinions of these titles!) in the Comments section.

Breathwalk: Breathing Your Way to a Revitalized Body, Mind, and Spirit by Gurucharan Singh Khalsa & Yogi Bhajan

Definitely the most interesting of all the titles. A meditative way to walk for fitness by combining walking and breathing to aid in healing and restoring energy.

ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running by Danny Dreyer

Love this book!  Innovative ways to achieve injury and pain-free running.  Gave this to my husband a couple of years ago and he still swears by it.

Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100 by Roy M. Wallack & Bill Katovsky

Our trend report has identified cycling as a real sleeper hit in the cardio arena.  It’s a “gateway drug” to fitness for lots of people turned off by traditional exercise ideas.  So I love the connection here between cycling and a longer, healthier life.  Plus they’ve got a cycling-specific yoga routine.

Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

An evergreen foundational title that’s always relevant for those in the mind-body sector.  A comprehensive guide to yoga, including its principles, breathing, asanas, proper technique, and the muscles on which to focus for each asana, plus lists of poses to help progress your practice over an extended period.

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

Second edition’s a major update of the original.  Just a classic.

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey

The connection between exercise and the physiological and biochemical function of the brain fascinates me. I think Ratey oversells the state of the research a bit – this is an emerging area and I’m not sure it quite rises to the level of a “new science” yet.  But still fascinating and thought-provoking.

The Complete Book of Pilates for Men: The Lifetime Plan for Strength, Power, & Peak Performance by Daniel Lyon

100 self-guided Pilates moves for guys.  Yeah, I know they’re really the same moves the girls do.  But that’s not the point (hey, there’s a NROL for Women, right – and it’s the same moves the guys do!).  But I do think the guy-only spin will encourage men to check Pilates out, and I’m all for inclusion and whatever works when it comes to healthy lifestyles.

Once a Runner: A Novel by John L. Parker

Once a Runner is exactly what it sounds like. Haven’t read it yet – comes highly recommended so I’m passing it along.  Long story short, Quenton Cassidy, a collegiate runner suspended from his university and banned from competing, goes off into solitude until meeting a former Olympic gold medalist who helps him find a way to compete despite his situation.  I’m told it’s the most inspiring fictional story out there for runners and athletes, so possibly a good choice for your kids if they’re competitive athletes.

Men’s Health Power Training: Build Bigger, Stronger Muscles with through Performance-Based Conditioning by Robert dos Remedios

I know, it says Men’s Health on the front.  But Remedios is a top strength and conditioning coach and what’s interesting here is that he essentially argues that functional and movement training beats out bench presses (OK, perhaps a slight oversimplification).

Defying Gravity:  How to Win at Weightlifting by Bill Starr

This book, written by competitive weightlifter Bill Starr, is a competitor’s guide to getting ready for the big event. Extremely thorough.

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