Reviewer: William Martinez, PT, OCS, FAAOMP (Alves & Martinez Physical Therapy & Athletic Performance)
Description: Despite the evidence about the benefits of physical activity for midlife and older persons, there has been little success in convincing people in this age group to adopt a physically active lifestyle. This book seeks to identify some of the barriers faced by older adults when they attempt to increase physical activity, and to outline specific strategies for helping them overcome these barriers. It offers practical strategies for the integration of various physical activities to create a healthier, more active lifestyle.
Purpose: The purpose is to teach exercise professionals about the many reasons why older adults should engage in regular physical activity by summarizing the physiological, psychological, social, and other benefits that accrue to them when they maintain a physically active lifestyle. The book clearly meets these objectives and provides exercise specialists useful information in a clear and effective way.
Audience: The audience is exercise professionals working with healthy and special needs older clients in a variety of settings. The author is a professor, researcher and head of the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The contributors are professors and researchers in similar departments from universities across the U.S.
Features: Each of the 10 well organized chapters is written by qualified researchers and begins with a chapter outline and introduction. The chapters are geared to assist exercise professionals in understanding the process of human aging and the benefits of exercise and an active lifestyle. They include tables, key point boxes, and real-life stories, and end with a summary, questions for reflection, and a bibliography for reference. The middle chapters of the book offer detailed and well presented information based on ACSM guidelines for physical activity options for healthy and special needs adults, and the assessment of physical activity and fitness in older adults. The book concludes with chapters covering nutritional guidelines to assist in maintaining health, and guides to assisting in the selection of an appropriate exercise program. The book includes supplemental materials: an appendix covering ACSM and AHA physical activity recommendations for older adults and web access to PowerPoint lecture outlines for teaching, along with access to the full text, including all tables. The book is well organized from beginning to end and is sufficiently detailed for students and exercise specialists alike. The material is well referenced with up-to-date bibliographies.
Assessment: This is an excellent book with enough detail to be used by students in the classroom and by exercise specialists as a reference in clinic, wellness, and community health program settings.