Living Fit After Fifty:
A Guide for the Post-Menopausal Woman
by Carol Ann Haines Bearhead Publishing

"If you raised kids, worked full time, managed a home, sometimes on your own, you can certainly find time to exercise."

A lot of things can conspire to keep a woman over 50 from looking and feeling healthy. Haines convincingly argues that it's wholly your choice whether to succumb. She offers a succinct, common-sense diet and exercise plan to get you on a better path and to keep you there. And she shows through personal experience that it can work. What's stopping you, Haines writes? Certainly not children; they're older or grown.

Haines, who has won awards for her short stories, is a good writer and does a great job of packing a lot of well-organized information into a short, 88-page book. A discussion of how crash dieting can derail your metabolism, bringing weight gain instead of loss. Stress-buster ideas such as meditation, tips for dealing with exercise routine setbacks, and a starter checklist are particularly helpful. An extensive appendix that lists healthy snacks, sample meal plans, and some really yummy-looking, low-calorie recipes reinforces the author's point that healthy eating need not be mundane.

The author's personal success story of getting fit after battling cancer and the success stories of her husband and several friends are wonderfully motivating. You can finish this book in an hour but should read it twice to glean its finer points. Then, keep it on the shelf to re-read when your motivation dampens. An inspiring, comprehensive, well-written primer that will get women off the couch and properly caring for their still-beautiful bodies.

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