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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Amie V Merhege, BSN, MSN-PNP Student(University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center)
Description: Geared for adolescents, this book provides a general description of the benefits of physical activity then details a wide variety of exercise options. It also discusses sports injuries, compulsive exercise, dangers of steroid use, suggested exercises for teens with asthma, disabilities, or diabetes, and the female athlete triad.
Purpose: The aim is to provide teens a guide to incorporating physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. The book cites statistics that few young people are meeting recommended physical activity guidelines, and that medical complications of inactivity are on the rise in this age group. In light of this information and based on the fact that librarians have requested more literature on this topic for young adults, the book serves a worthwhile purpose. Consideration should be given, however, to whether teens are not exercising due to a lack of information or for other reasons, and if a book is the appropriate format to reach this age group.
Audience: Although this book is written for young adults wanting guidance on exercise and fitness, I'm not sure today's teens looking for this information are going to seek it out in a book from the library. The editor has chosen a medical consultant who seems to be well-qualified to review pertinent facts related to physiology and disease process. Sources cited include kidshealth.gov as well as many other well-regarded national health agencies.
Features: The book does an excellent job of providing concise yet thorough data about the benefits of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. While the bulk of the book is devoted to discussing individual sports/activities, including how to stay safe and necessary gear, there is also information teens need about sleep, nutrition, and basic anatomy and physiology that contributes to an understanding of why exercise is important. The lack of pictures/graphics is disappointing, especially in chapters that discuss stretching. Individual stretches are described in detail but they could prove difficult to follow without illustrations.
Assessment: While the overall quality of this book is good, I question the value of this format for reaching this audience. Today's adolescents are technologically savvy and when they seek fitness information, I wonder if they will look to a book. However, for a relatively short book, this does gather a wealth of information written at an appropriate level for teens.