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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Darla R Smith, PhD (University of Texas El Paso College of Health Sciences)
Description: This is an introduction to the basic subdisciplines of exercise science. The book provides introductory information about exercise physiology, sports medicine, biomechanics, and motor behavior along with chapters on special topics such as nutrition, equipment design, and sport psychology.
Purpose: The authors seek to provide an overview of the scientific discipline of exercise science for undergraduate students from a variety of majors with the ultimate goal of stimulating interest in advanced study. Although the editors succeed in providing a useful compilation, which is very appropriate for an introductory course in exercise science, adoptability of the text outside the discipline seems improbable.
Audience: According to the editor, the book is written for all undergraduate students. The editor and authors are respected authorities in the various subdisciplines. The chapters are written for a broad audience and can be understood at the freshman level with no exercise science background.
Features: The authors do an excellent job of explaining the basics of exercise science to the nonscientist. In addition to summarizing some of the traditional topics, such training effects, Newton's laws, and visual tracking, the book also addresses several hot topics including the effects of the environment, exercise addiction, and clothing design. One unique feature is the use of a series of application boxes, short highlighted paragraphs about interesting topics such as delayed onset muscle soreness, guidelines for quick replenishment of fluid after exercise, and the psychology of warm-up. Topics that come up in daily conversation will likely increase the interest of the target audience. Each chapter is referenced and an impressive subject index allows the reader to find information regarding specific topics.
Assessment: This book is perfect for an introductory course in exercise science. However, exercise science programs that also serve students preparing for teaching careers will be better served by a book that introduces physical education in addition to exercise science (Wuest and Bucher, Foundations of Physical Education and Sport, 13th edition (Wm C. Brown Co,, 1999)).