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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eugene A Davidson, PhD (Georgetown University School of Medicine)
Description: This book is intended for students wishing some basic knowledge of metabolic events associated with exercise.
Purpose: The goal is to provide an easy to use text for students with limited chemistry/physiology backgrounds. The objective is superficially worthwhile and, within limits, adequately achieved.
Audience: Second year college students are the intended audience, although earlier classes could also use the book.
Features: An increasing number of college students study various aspects of life science without the intention of becoming physicians, including nursing students, those interested in physical therapy, etc. This book is designed for a course in which the effects of exercise on metabolic activities are studied. The first section is devoted to an introduction to biochemistry for those with a limited chemical background. A short bridge section describes the mechanisms involved in nerve and muscle action, followed by chapters that summarize fuel utilization, control mechanisms, and assessment methods. Each chapter provides a few study questions for guidance and illustrations are plentiful and generally clear. Given the difficulty of explaining necessarily complex material in a somewhat simplified form (e.g., physics for poets); this book can serve as a useful text in its intended area. Many of the discussions are superficial and some may leave incorrect impressions, which is a common problem in efforts of this genre. How serious? Preferable would have been occasional caveats to protect the naive student from assuming a level of understanding that, in reality, does not exist. Nevertheless, undergraduates wishing some understanding of the effects of exercise on metabolic events will learn useful material.
Assessment: I generally do not appreciate the superficial approach represented by this book. Conversely, there is relatively little misinformation (I have seen worse) and as long as the instructor is sufficiently knowledgeable, the book can be used effectively for its intended audience.