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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
"Fit at 50" by Matthew McLaughlin tells of the author's own search for fitness and health as they relate to habits he hopes to maintain for a lifetime. He trained and participated for years and was then injured, forcing him to find a better means of participating in athletics without injuring himself. He stresses a program he calls Periodization, a program which he believes is smarter but not necessarily more difficult. It involves three separate eight week phases in which the body is introduced to a regimen of proper eating, training and stretching. There is then a building period in which the body is stressed in order to build strength and speed. When this is accomplished, the final phase of peak is obtained and maintained. It is then that the body feels its balance and seems to have a sense of what is expected and what the body is capable of doing without serious injury.
Although the author maintains that the program is suitable for a lifetime, this may be unrealistic for geriatric readers to fathom. The basic program of strength training coupled with cardiovascular workout is something to which most people can relate. However, spending over an hour each day in conditioning the body is perhaps more than the average person is willing to undertake. The author uses a professional gym and has a personal trainer, something well beyond the means of those in working class positions. Perhaps one of the best sections of the book is that illustrating proper stretching exercises. This is certainly something that most readers could do and would be well-advised to initiate as a regular part of the working week.