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A Nonfiction Column
By Jeff Shelby

Getting All Sweaty And Healthy

I used to be in really good shape. College scholarship athlete, ran a marathon a few years ago. But then I quit my job to stay home with my daughter and to write full-time and things sort of went, uh, awry. Turns out that when you sit at the computer all day and your main source of exercise is going to the fridge to get snacks repeatedly, you put on a little weight. Or maybe a lot of weight.

Yikes!

Anyway, as summer has approached, I was determined to shed my four year flab and Iím happy to report that things have gone well. In order to do so, I checked out a few books on diet / exercise / nutrition / not being lazy. Here are the best ones I read:


Eat This Not That: Thousands of Simple Food Swaps That Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds-or More! by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding

This has been my own personal bible for the last few months. Iím not proud of it, but I am a fan of fast food. I eat a lot of it. The problem was, I was eating just about the worst thing on every menu. Zinczenko and Goulding, though, have managed to put together a book that shows you what you can eat and what you shouldnít go near when you head into your favorite restaurant. A must have for those that enjoy eating out.


Are You Ready!: To Take Charge, Lose Weight, Get in Shape, and Change Your Life Forever by Bob Harper

My wife and I are big fans of NBCís The Biggest Loser and Bob is our favorite trainer, so I was interested to see what kind of book he put together. Heís big on figuring out what the problem is in your life and since I already knew what mine was (lazy, like bad food), I sort of skimmed the part. The parts I really liked, though, were the sections on healthy eating and very simple exercises that donít require an expensive gym membership.


Runner's World Run Less, Run Faster: Become a Faster, Stronger Runner with the Revolutionary FIRST Training Program by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, Ray Moss

Running has been something that Iíve warmed to over the last decade as my body has refused to participate in team sports the way Iíd like it to. The problem was that I thought I could just go out run for an hour and be done with it. Even when I ran the marathon, I didnít train the way I shouldíve. As a result, my body tends to break down with knee / back / whatever pain after several weeks of running. This book changed that for me and showed me how to run on a schedule and in a way that would lessen the wear and tear on my body. Itís geared for people who want to run competitively, but I think it offers lots of insight for anyone who wants to incorporate running into their lifestyle.


The U.S. Navy SEAL Guide to Fitness and Nutrition by The U.S. Navy

I get bored very easily with exercise so Iím always looking for things to change up my routine. I love watching those reality shows that demonstrate all the crazy things the SEALs do, so I bought this book. I donít look like a SEAL and donít think I ever will, but I do enjoy working out like one to break up the monotony of running and lifting weights. Lots of good information on nutrition and health, as well.

Now get off the sofa!



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