Saturday, November 10, 2012

Better Body Management

   For several years now I have been interested in the sciences of health and dieting. My college class for this quarter is Health and Fitness for Life. My mom was studying to become a nutritionist. However, I've always had problems eating healthy because I want to be healthy--not for some other reason. That was at least partially why I read Stormie Omartian's Better Body Management.

   The nonfiction help book is only ten chapters long. It was published in 1993, so naturally some of its ideas may be a little old. For example, the idea that moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, for 30 minutes or so, is better than vigorous-intensity exercise for 20 minutes. Research has shown that vigorous-intensity exercise is more beneficial than the lower intensity, because it burns more calories in a shorter amount of time, and while the percentage of fat calories burned is less than that of moderate-intensity, the overall amount of fat calories burned is higher because vigorous-intensity costs more calories total. There are other ideas I disagreed with, such as, if you eat a meal in less than twenty minutes, you're eating too fast. Actually, you may not have enough on your plate to last for twenty minutes. Besides these, however, she gives some really great tips--like weighing yourself no more than once a month. Or that "it's your doctor's job to cure you; it's your job to remain healthy so you don't have to see a doctor."
  One of the best parts about the book is its sprinkling of God. The idea--or, actually, the fact--that health begins in the heart, because no one is healthy if they're vengeful or angry, even if they're perfect in the diet and exercise departments. The focus on self-control in chapter 10 is wonderful. Omartian maintains that the only way to succeed in self-control is giving up your control to God.
  But it's possible that you'll pass the main point of the information by. For example, it seems to me that Omartian's eating plan is rather scarce, and something you wouldn't stick to unless you already had the proven self-control to restrict calories and stop eating sugary and processed foods. But chapter 9 is full of tips for busy people--and there are also sidebars on many pages throughout the book, giving you even more advice. I think it's the little things that make this book a good health standard.
  So if you can stand a few old-fashioned claims (look them up online if you're not sure--or read Lifetime Physical Fitness and Wellness by Werner W.K. Hoeger and Sharon A. Hoeger {which also may not be completely correct, but is more up-to-date}), and the possibility of not being able to do everything she says (which, by the way, is not a crime), this could be the book for you. It's centered on "greater health God's way"--which is the title of another health book she wrote. Remember, though, that with diets one size does not fit all. Ultimately, it's up to you to listen to God's plan for your health . . . something I really need to work on.

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