ACSM Complete Guide to Fitness & Health

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You know the importance of good health, but how do you achieve it? And how do you maintain it through the years as your body and lifestyle change, introducing obstacles to physical activity and optimal nutrition? In ACSM’s Complete Guide to Fitness & Health, you will find the answers and much, much more.

The American College of Sports Medicine, the largest and most-respected sport science and medicine organization in the world, has created the ACSM’s Complete Guide to Fitness & Health to strip away common fads, myths, and misconceptions and provide you with the latest research, sound advice, and age-specific recommendations that you can trust.

You will learn these strategies:

•Optimize your weight, improve heart health, and increase aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility, and balance.

•Improve your health by managing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis and joint pain, pregnancy, and osteoporosis through exercise and proper nutrition.

•Determine your body composition and current cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness levels.

•Monitor, evaluate, and adjust your exercise program over time for optimal results.

•Introduce exercise, increase physical activity, and improve your diet for more energy and better health (no matter what your age!).

Featuring step-by-step instructions and full-color photos for the most effective exercises, sample workouts, practical advice, age-specific physical activity guidelines, and strategies for incorporating exercise into even the busiest of lifestyles, ACSM’s Complete Guide to Fitness & Health is a resource that belongs in every family’s library.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Erik H VanIterson, M.S., M.Bio(University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology)
Description: This excellent resource on the basic fundamental ideas and concepts related to general physical fitness, health, and exercise highlights key guidelines and recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine, the authoritative body of sport and physical activity sciences.
Purpose: It provides guidelines and recommendations for safe and practical programs to improve or maintain the health and fitness levels of people of all ages, healthy and not-so-healthy, and special needs populations.
Audience: Aimed at the general public, this book is intended for readers who don't have a significant amount of prior education in the area of sport and physical activity sciences. However, many of the key concepts are useful for readers at any level of expertise — coaches, fitness trainers, physiotherapists, health and fitness instructors, physical education teachers, and physical therapists also may find it useful.
Features: The book introduces many of the basic concepts related to physical activity guidelines and recommendations for all populations. It builds upon these concepts and progresses to more advanced topics that are pertinent for more advanced athletes, coaches, and/or educators. It provides excellent figures and tables that readers can use as quick reference tools in the clinical, educational, or practical setting.
Assessment: Consistent with all of ACSM's publications on physical fitness and health, this book provides current information that is well supported by up-to-date, peer-reviewed literature authored by the field's most respected scientists. It is an excellent tool for sport and physical activity enthusiasts of all reading and experience levels.
Library Journal
Bushman, an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)-certified exercise specialist, adroitly covers everything you ever wanted to know about healthy living. Contributions from a range of academics (many affiliated with the ACSM) distill the current thinking on nutrition and exercise for all ages and for adults with chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. They discuss how to determine your current levels of fitness, create a graduated fitness plan and coordinate it with proper eating habits, and measure your progress and maintain your optimum level. Chapters include recommendations for those with special health and medical conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and arthritis. VERDICT It's all here, without the catchy gimmicks that can so often send you down the wrong road. Anyone who is serious about getting in shape will want this guide.—Susan B. Hagloch, formerly with Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736093378
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/4/2011
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 396
  • Sales rank: 330,837
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author


With 35,000 members, the American College of Sports Medicine is the largest and most-respected sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. Founded in 1954, the ACSM works to promote and integrate scientific research, education, and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health, and quality of life for people worldwide.


Barbara A. Bushman, PhD, FASCM is certified as a program director and exercise specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is a professor at Missouri State University. She received her PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Toledo and has teaching experience in identification of health risks, exercise testing and prescription, anatomy, and physiology. Bushman also is the associate editor of ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer and a reviewer for ACSM's Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Women & Health, and ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. She has been a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine since 1999, serving on the ACSM Media Referral Network.

Bushman is the lead author of Action Plan for Menopause as well as numerous research articles. She resides in Strafford, Missouri, with her husband, Tobin. She participates in numerous activities in her leisure time, including running, cycling, hiking, weightlifting, kayaking, and scuba diving.


Christopher Berger, PhD, CSCS, is an exercise physiologist formerly with the University of Pittsburgh, but now at The George Washington University where he teaches exercise physiology. He is a certified member of both the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Berger specializes in metabolism and weight management.

Keith Burns, MS, is a graduate student in the department of exercise science at the University of South Carolina. His academic interests are in the area of clinical exercise physiology with a research focus to better understanding how daily physical activity and exercise provide health benefits for people with chronic diseases and disabilities.

Wojtek Chodzko Zajko, PhD, is with the department of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He focuses on the effect of exercise and physical activity on health and quality of life in old age. Chodzko Zajko is active on several professional advisory boards such as the Scientific Advisory Committee of the World Health Organization, which developed the WHO Guidelines for Physical Activity Among Older Persons, and the WHO task force charged with developing a strategy for integrating physical activity into a comprehensive program of active aging. Chodzko-Zajko is the principal investigator on projects charged with developing a national strategy for promoting healthy aging in the United States.

Shawn H. Dolan, Ph D, RD, CSSD, is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and American Dietetic Association (ADA). She is currently the assistant director of Sports Dietetics USA, a subunit of Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition, a dietetic practice groups within ADA. Dolan is a sport dietitian and physiologist with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). She works primarily with the team and technical sports folio. Prior to the USOC, Dolan was an assistant professor of kinesiology at California State University at Long Beach, where she taught sport and wellness nutrition, resistance training program design, exercise physiology, and fundamentals of personal training.

J. Larry Durstine, PhD, is a fellow and past president of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is a distinguished professor at the University of South Carolina and serves as chair of the department of exercise science and director of clinical exercise programs. Durstine has published over 70 refereed research publications, edited 8 books, and written more than 30 book chapters. His research interest includes the effects of physical activity on blood lipid and lipoprotein concentrations. He has examined the relationships between exercise and novel cardiovascular disease risk factors in men, minority women, and people with chronic diseases and disabilities.

Avery Faigenbaum, EdD, is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is a professor at the College of New Jersey in the department of health and exercise science. Faigenbaum’s research interests include various resistance training techniques as well as the benefits of physical activity for school-age youth. As a researcher and practitioner in the field of exercise science, he has developed successful youth fitness programs and has authored numerous scientific publications, book chapters, and eight books including Youth Strength Training (Human Kinetics, 2009).

William B. Farquhar, PhD, is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and is an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and applied physiology at the University of Delaware. Farquhar studies blood pressure regulation in humans and teaches undergraduate and graduate physiology courses. He publishes his research findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals and regularly presents at national meetings.

Amy Fowler, BS, is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and is an ACSM certified exercise specialist and registered clinical exercise physiologist. She is the manager of preventive cardiology at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. Fowler’s professional interests are women’s heart health, diabetes management, and patient advocacy.

Barry A. Franklin, PhD, is director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. He holds adjunct faculty appointments at Oakland University, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and the University of Michigan Medical School. He served as president of the AACVPR in 1988 and president of ACSM in 1999. In 2010, he was appointed to the AHA board of trustees. Franklin is a past editor in chief of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and currently holds editorial positions with 17 scientific and clinical journals. He has written or edited more than 500 publications, including 27 books.

Anthony Giglio, MS, PA-C, is a physician assistant currently working in endocrinology at St. John’s Health System in Springfield, Missouri. He is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. He is a graduate of the Missouri State Physician Assistant Program.

Gregory A. Ledger, MD, FACP, FACE, is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a fellow of the American College of Endocrinology. He is currently section chair for the department of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism with St. John's Health System in Springfield, Missouri. Ledger is board certified in internal medicine with subspecialty board certification in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism. Ledger has a clinical practice with St. John's Clinic and also conducts clinical research in the fields of diabetes, osteoporosis, and hyperlipidemia.

Marcus Kilpatrick, PhD, is an ACSM Certified exercise specialist and health fitness specialist. He is an associate professor in exercise science at the University of South Florida and primarily teaches in the areas of exercise psychology and fitness assessment and prescription. Kilpatrick’s research interests center on psychological responses to exercise including affect, perceived exertion, and motivation. His research aims to better understand the physical activity experience and facilitate lifelong engagement in sport and exercise.

Laura Kruskall, PhD, RD, CSSD, is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and an ACSM certified health fitness specialist. She is the director of nutrition sciences at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and teaches in the areas of sports nutrition and medical nutrition therapy. Kruskall’s research interests include the effects of exercise and nutritional interventions on body composition and energy metabolism. Kruskall is a member of the editorial board for ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal and is a nutrition consultant for Canyon Ranch SpaClub and Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.

A. Lynn Millar, PT, PhD, is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. She is a professor in the department of physical therapy at Andrews University, where she supervises all of the graduate research. Millar’s areas of interest include arthritis, adolescent sports injuries, and exercise for the patient population. She has published and presented on a wide variety of therapy-related topics and authored the text, ACSM’s Action Plan for Arthritis in 2003 (Human Kinetics).

Don W. Morgan, PhD, is a professor in the department of health and human performance and director of the Center for Physical Activity and Health in Youth at Middle Tennessee State University. An exercise physiologist, Morgan conducts research focusing on the role physical activity plays in improving the health, fitness, and mobility of youth and adults. Morgan is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and an ACSM certified health fitness instructor. He is also a former president of the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine.

Lanay Mudd, PhD, holds a dual-major doctoral degree in kinesiology and epidemiology from Michigan State University. She is an assistant professor at Appalachian State University and teaches in the area of health promotion. Mudd’s research interests center on the maternal and child health benefits associated with physical activity during pregnancy. Specifically, she investigates the roles of health and physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum on future risk for maternal or child cardiovascular and metabolic disease. She is also an ACSM certified clinical exercise specialist.

Jan Schroeder, PhD, is a professor of kinesiology at California State University at Long Beach. She is the director of the bachelor of science fitness program, which specializes in preparing students for careers in the fitness industry. She is a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor who teaches weekly in the private sector. Schroeder has authored over 40 research and applied articles in the area of exercise physiology and fitness. Her current line of research focuses on trends within the fitness industry such as programming, equipment, and compensation for fitness professionals.

Andiara Schwingel, PhD, is an assistant professor of kinesiology and community health, working in the area of aging and the effects of lifestyle on health and chronic disease. Her primary research interests focus on how cultural, national, and international factors affect the way people grow older around the world, including the development of chronic diseases and conditions. She is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and teaches in the area of aging and international health. She directs the Aging and Diversity Lab, where she is investigating how to promote health in older Latino populations in the United States.

Lucy Sternburgh, MS, is an ACSM registered clinical exercise physiologist. She works in preventive cardiology at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, and is also a clinical instructor at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, within the Wellness, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention program. She is certified by the NSCA as a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and by the ACSM as a clinical exercise specialist, health fitness specialist, and certified inclusive fitness trainer. She is also a National Wellness Institute certified wellness professional and intrinsic coach.

Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RD, LDN, is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and an ACSM certified clinical exercise specialist. She is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania and teaches in the area of sports nutrition and advanced nutrition and metabolism. Volpe conducts intervention studies of the ability of exercise and nutrition to prevent obesity and diabetes across the lifespan. \Volpe’s work has been published in numerous journals. She speaks internationally and nationally. She is also the lead author of Fitness Nutrition for Special Dietary Needs (Human Kinetics, 2007).

Kerri Winters-Stone, PhD, holds appointments as an associate professor in the department of nutrition and exercise science at Oregon State University and the School of Nursing at Oregon Health and Science University and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. Winters-Stone's research has focused on improving bone health through lifestyle modification across the lifespan, particularly through targeted exercise programs, with a current focus on the effects of cancer treatment on fracture and frailty risk and the ability of exercise to improve health in cancer survivors. Winters-Stone is author of the book ACSM’s Action Plan for Osteoporosis (Human Kinetics, 2005).

Kara Witzke, PhD, is an associate professor and department chair of kinesiology at California State University at San Marcos. She teaches in the area of exercise physiology for special populations, and her research focuses on exercise to improve bone health across the lifespan. Her current project seeks to determine the dose-response relationship between jumping and bone health in young women, which may translate into a simple recommendation to help women grow and maintain healthy bones. She has published book chapters on the topic for ACSM and the American Council on Exercise, and articles in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Table of Contents

Part I Fit, Active, and Healthy

Chapter 1 Meeting and Exceeding the Physical Activity Guidelines

Barbara Bushman

Chapter 2 Assessing Personal Fitness

Christopher Berger

Chapter 3 ACSM Program for Balanced Fitness

Barbara Bushman

Chapter 4 Nutrition for Better Health and Fitness

Stella Volpe

Chapter 5 Adopting and Maintaining Healthy Habits

Marcus Kilpatrick

Part II Exercise and Activity for Building a Better You

Chapter 6 Aerobic Activity

Barbara Bushman

Chapter 7 Resistance Training

Avery Faigenbaum

Chapter 8 Flexibility and Balance

Jan Schroeder and Shawn Dolan

Part III Fitness and Health for Every Age

Chapter 9 Children and Adolescents: Up to Age 17

Don W. Morgan and Barbara Bushman

Chapter 10 Adults: Ages 18 to 64

Barbara Bushman

Chapter 11 Older Adults: Ages 65 and Over

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko and Andiara Schwingel

Part IV Fitness and Health for Every Body

Chapter 12 Cardiovascular Health

Barry Franklin, Amy Fowler, and Lucy Sternburgh

Chapter 13 Weight Management

Laura Kruskall

Chapter 14 Diabetes

Gregory Ledger, Anthony Giglio, and Barbara Bushman

Chapter 15 High Blood Pressure

William Farquhar

Chapter 16 High Cholesterol

J. Larry Durstine and Keith Burns

Chapter 17 Arthritis and Joint Pain

A. Lynn Millar

Chapter 18 Pregnancy (Pre- and Postnatal)

Lanay Mudd

Chapter 19 Osteoporosis and Bone Health

Kerri Winters-Stone and Kara Witzke

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