New Book Promotes Health for the Whole Body, Whole Life

May 23, 2017

Diet and exercise. The two go hand in hand, to help maintain body weight, strength, agility, and overall health, but motivation can be challenging. It can also be overwhelming when you try to think about all of the trends and knowing what would be most personally beneficial. I'm Nicki Donnelson. Today, I have Dr. Barbara Bushman as my guest on the Missouri State Journal. She is a professor of kinesiology at Missouri State, and an expert on women's health, and the editor and contributing author of the American College of Sports Medicines Complete Guide to Fitness and Health - the second edition, which became available in late February.

"When people see, "Oh, this is just a second edition of a book." Then it's like, "Oh, it's just going to be rehashing the same information. It's not. We have reorganized, updated, there's entire new chapters on Alzheimer's disease, on depression, on cancer. We've expanded out the section on special populations. We've expanded the section on the different exercise types, so there's a new chapter on neuromotor exercise training, so if people don't understand, that's sort of a unique term looking at balance, agility, reaction time.

"We also have chapters, of course, of aerobic fitness, muscular fitness and flexibility. Each one of those chapters are sample programs. In the chapters on muscular fitness and flexibility and the neuromotor exercise training, sample exercises, pictures. It's often hard to try to describe things in a book format, so having a lot of pictures with descriptions, so that you can take the book and go and implement the program." Movement, activity and healthy diet is important at all stages of life. Bushman reminds us, "The first step is to just get moving." "Within the book, we outline different activity programs for youth, adults, as well as older adults, so specific chapters on each one of those. There's a lot of knowledge base information. Then in the beginning of the book, we start you out with a little information on motivation, because it really doesn't matter if you know everything that's in the book, but you don't do those activities." Bushman is proud of the depth and breadth of the areas covered in this latest edition. She says, "It would not have been possible without the collaboration of multiple authors, who are experts in their fields." "One of the really unique aspects of the Complete Guide to Fitness and Heath, is that experts from all over the country and specific areas contributed their time to put together chapters that are focused on improving health and fitness for each person, so the list of contributors is very impressive, in terms of their credentials and their background, and I'm pleased to have been able to pull those together and to contribute, myself, in five different chapters." While the American College of Sports Medicine often is looked at as an authority for practitioners, this book is for the end user, you and me, who need advice and reminders of how to improve health throughout life. "The focus of the book is really the consumer audience, so we're hoping that the person that maybe has that discussion with their physician or healthcare provider, and maybe they're encouraged to improve their diet, because there's nutritional information throughout, or to start to exercise more, or a little bit more than they're currently doing. It's really for them, so that they can take that recommendation and put it into action and personalize it for themselves. After the first edition, sitting back and looking, "What are some areas that we can expand into?"  "We did some reorganization, and within the Special Populations area of the book, we have heart health, we have osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, pregnancy, weight management. Then adding in those additional chapters with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, looking at cancer, and then also depression. What we tried to do was to step back and say, "What are other areas that impact a lot of people and that we know that there's some benefits for a good nutritional plan, as well as physical activity." The first edition of this comprehensive guide opened up many peoples' eyes to health concerns and new regimens to make lifestyle changes. In order to address questions and to provide a forum for new insights and research, Bushman established a social site for sharing information and continuing the conversation. "I continue to maintain a Facebook/Fitness ID, and post pretty regularly throughout the week, different articles out in the popular press that are related to physical activity and nutrition, so it's a way to continue to interact with individuals that may have purchased the book, or are interested in the book, or just interested in those topics, in general, to realize there are so many different ways that we can be involved and improve our fitness and our health." That was Dr. Barbara Bushman, professor of kinesiology at Missouri State University. I'm Nicki Donnelson for the Missouri State Journal.