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How To Get Back In Shape

Book Reviews


Finding the right books to help you get back in shape can help you succeed.


Getting back in shape requires that you understand what it really means to be healthy. Understanding your body makes you more effective and successful with your plan to get back in shape. 

 You: On A Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

 YOU On A Diet

YOU On A Diet, by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Dr. Oz  gives you a good understanding of the role of inflammation, belly fat and the importance of your waist measurement in getting back in shape.  Written by medical doctors, it covers the science of fat and of the mind in a thorough, but very entertaining way.

The book includes a sample diet and an exercise program for strength and flexibility focusing on large muscle groups to burn fat and reduce the waistline.

**Recommended to help you understand how to get back in shape. There is a series of YOU books.


Healthy Food

Getting Back in Shape depends greatly on what you put into your body.  Understanding nutrient rich food and cooking methods is important to your success.  Adjusting your food intake can not only help you normalize your weight, but can also eliminate food related health concerns.


 The World's Healthiest Foods, Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating

  The World's Healthiest Foods 

The World's Healthiest Foods, by George Mateljan is an amazing book full of healthy, nutrient-rich food recipes & nutritional info. 

Phase 1 gets you started on 4 weeks of a healthy eating plan. Phase 2 helps you eat healthy for a lifetime. 

The book includes healthy ways of cooking and food preparation to prevent loss of nutrients.  Nutrient richness and nutritional analysis charts are included for different foods. The section on which foods help with different health concerns shows a well researched book. 

** Highly Recommended to help you get back in shape with good nutrition.



Learning to relax can speed your efforts to get back in shape.  Stress is now known to affect not only our mental outlook, but our weight and all of our body's systems: cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, musculo-skeletal, hormones and even inflammation and pain.  So, if you want to age better and feel better, learn to relax. 

 The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

 The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook

The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook helps you tackle one of the main culprits of getting out of shape - STRESS.

The workbook has lots of exercises to help you understand and identify your stress triggers. Because stress comes in many forms, the workbook helps you release your stress with a variety of techniques including techniques that work best for different types of tension.

This is a comprehensive workbook and recommended if you have symptoms of stress.

Routine Stretching

To truly get back in shape you need to be flexible.  Loss of flexibility is one of the greatest signs of aging.  To keep flexible, incorporate a routine stretching program into your daily schedule.  Joseph Weisberg has made this easy with a 3 minute, full body routine stretching program.

  3 Minutes to a Pain-Free Life: The Groundbreaking Program for Total Body Pain Prevention and Rapid Relief

3 Minutes to a Pain-Free Life


3 Minutes to a Pain-Free Life, by Joseph Weisberg P.T., Ph.D. has truly simplified feeling better.  The six easy to do therapeutic movements combine multiple joints and muscle groups to streamline your daily stretching routine to just 3 minutes.

The book has a basic program, as well as modifications for the athlete, seniors, pregnant women and for children.  Also, included are stretches or therapeutic movements for different pain conditions by body part.

Well illustrated with photos. Identifies the targeted areas. This book has a place in everyone's library.

If lack of time is a reason that you use for not getting back in shape, Joseph Weisberg's 3 Minute Stretching program makes no time, no excuse!

Stretching Routines for Pain Relief 

 The Permanent Pain Cure: The Breakthrough Way to Heal Your Muscle and Joint Pain for Good (PB)

  The Permanent Pain Cure 

"The Breakthrough Way to Heal Your Muscle and Joint Pain for Good."

The Permanent Pain Cure, by Ming Chew PT., bodybuilder and martial arts student, is an excellent book for stretching routines to relieve pain.

The book includes spinal and fascial stretches and presents routines for special joint pain conditions. It addresses the importance of proper hydration to achieve optimal stretching.

The Ming Method also includes a strengthening program with bodyweight, weights and kettlebell exercises. A discussion of dietary supplements and an anti-inflammation diet is also addressed.

Recommended to help you get back in shape with total body stretches.

Strength Training

Strength Training transforms your body.  Create lean muscles, burn fat, strengthen bones, reduce pain all in one or two 20 minute strength training sessions per week. 


  Power of 10 : The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution

Power of 10


Power of 10,  The Once-A-Week, Slow Motion Fitness Revolution is an easy way to get started with strength training. 

The first part of the book focuses on the 3 pillars of the Power of 10: Exercise, Nutrition and Rest & Recovery.

The second part of the book is strength training routines with straight forward instructions, pictures and information on the muscle groups targeted.

This book also covers exercise machines, free weights, bodyweight exercises, charting your progress and proper technique.

*Recommended to help you get back in shape with strength training.  See results with 20' of strength training per week.

Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Energy Practices

Learning to feel and direct your energy or "chi" is a quantum step toward getting back in shape. 

 Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body: Chi Gung for Lifelong Health (Tao of Energy Enhancement)

Opening The Energy Gates of Your Body 

Opening The Energy Gates of Your Body, by B.K. Frantzis is a must for anyone interested in understanding and improving their energetic system. The information gives a better understanding of the deeper practice of tai chi, qi gong, martial arts and yoga.

Energetic exercises go beyond developing muscle power and flexibility. Mr. Frantzis reports benefits for your organs, nervous system, cardio-vascular function, injury prevention and recovery.

The book includes specific exercises for learning to feel and dissolve energy blockages, energizing the vital organs and joints, as well as stretching the spine.

Well illustrated with diagrams.  Clear and thorough instructions. 

*** Highly recommended for everyone who wants to get back in shape.


Types Of Exercises For that are Best for Pain Relief

Body Awareness or Mind Body Exercises

Body Awareness or Mind Body Exercises help you tune-into your body to discover abnormal tension or holding patterns and poor movement patterns. Until you are able to become aware and actually feel what your body is doing, you will have trouble relieving pain so that you can get back in shape and make the most of your exercise program.

 Relax Your Neck, Liberate Your Shoulders: The Ultimate Exercise Program for Tension Relief

Relax your Neck, Liberate your Shoulders

 Pelvic Power: Mind/Body Exercises for Strength, Flexibility, Posture, and Balance for Men and Women

  Pelvic Power

Relax your Neck, Liberate your Shoulders

Pelvic Power, by Eric Franklin

We include these two books by Eric Franklin because together, they cover your full spine. Franklin uses visualization to help you become aware of your movements and holding patterns thru mind-body exercises.

Franklin demonstrates an excellent understanding of both Western Science and Eastern knowledge bases which makes his exercises so effective.

These exercises address different layers of muscles, the movement of joints, the gliding filaments of muscles, the interconnectedness of the body, asymmetries, energy flow, breathing, and even your internal organs.

If you like to visualize, you will love these books.

** Highly Recommended to help you get back in shape if you have neck & back pain (or any other problems due to improper alignment).



  Somatics: Reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health


"Reawakening the mind's control of movement, flexibility, and health"


Somatics, by Thomas Hanna

Somatics is a type of exercise based on an internal sensory-motor approach, meaning you learn to sense your exercise movements and  reduce abnormal holding and movement patterns.

These exercises are based on the studies of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais.  They help you turn off your "auto pilot" and perform your movements consciously.  This book includes exercises for your back, stomach, trunk rotators, hips & legs, neck & shoulders as well as breathing and walking.

** Highly Recommended to help you get back in shape with body awareness exercise if you have neck & back pain. 



The practice of yoga can be a complete get ''back in shape'' program.  Yoga addresses stretching, strengthening, balance, posture, breathing, relaxation and mental focus. It can be very effective in reducing pain. 

 Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing

Yoga As Medicine 

Yoga As Medicine, by Timothy McCall, M.D. is an excellent discussion of the practice of  yoga and the types of yoga that are best for therapy.

The book includes specific yoga exercises for a variety of health and pain conditions. While being true to yoga's ancient teachings, it presents the benefits of yoga in western language.

 Yoga as Medicine helps you decide which type of yoga is right for you.  It is well illustrated with photos and includes tips, modifications and cautions. 

** Recommended for anyone considering the practice of yoga to improve health and address health conditions.

Self-Treatment Books

Back Pain

Robin McKenzie's, Treat Your Own Back has been used successfully by thousands of people suffering from back pain and by healthcare practitioners who treat back pain. For many it works wonderfully, but it is important to note that for a small percentage of people it can actually make back symptoms worse.


 Treat Your Own Back

 Treat Your Own Back

  See below to see if this book is right for you.

Treat Your Own Neck 4th Ed

Treat Your Own Neck 

Treat Your Own Back by Robin Mckenzie

5 Stars for a time tested book with the following caveats. All back pain conditions are not alike and each condition has a unique solution. Therefore, the optimal use of this book is in conjunction with an assessment by a healthcare practitioner, such a physical therapist. This will avoid its inappropriate use and ensure that the McKenzie exercises will be beneficial.

When used appropriately, it can be an extremely helpful, simple guide to centralize low back and leg pain (sciatica) with gentle movements. Once you are over your acute symptoms, McKenzie gives you some additional movements to assure you regain your full motion which will help prevent future episodes. He includes some basic body mechanics instructions to make you aware of how you position yourself during your activities to avoid aggravating to your back symptoms. He also shows you how to use a lumbar roll to make sitting and lying more comfortable.

Strengthening exercises are beyond the scope of this book. Instead it is more concerned with immediate symptom reduction and protection thru body mechanics and positioning. So, for complete, long term management you may want additional instruction in an appropriate progression of strengthening exercises for your back.

To help you decide if this book is right for you, know the cause of your back condition. The extension portion of the exercise will not help and may even hurt people with spondylolesthesis, spinal stenosis, or a fully herniated or ruptured disc, for example, and can help a disc that is bulging, but not herniated. Before trying these exercises, check with your healthcare provider to make sure these exercises are appropriate for you.
Locate a McKenzie Provider.


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