Fresh Off the Couch

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By Marla Fields and Cris Kessler (Bennett & Hastings Publishing, 2008)

If you’ve been meaning to ramp up your fitness efforts but just haven’t quite gotten around to it, or if you’ve started exercising but don’t know where to go from here, this is the book for you. Authors Fields and Kessler first present a “Cognitive Fitness” program designed to get both your brain and body on board, whatever size and shape that body happens to be. Then they ease you into a smart, strategic, doable exercise program that builds your motivation and strength in equal measure. Making expert-level strategies like heart-rate and interval training accessible to a beginner audience, Fields and Kessler are serious about helping you upgrade your fitness for good — for the real-life reasons that matter to you. They don’t just cheer you on with a bunch of “you can do it” encouragements, they teach you how and why to use a heart monitor, pack a gym bag, and schedule plenty of rest and rewards into your routine. Each chapter ends with a seven-day chart to help you map your progress in its particular area. Whether you’re actually stuck on the couch or just stuck in a pattern of exercise resistance, this guide will help clear the cranial roadblocks and help you have a good time getting fit.

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