I am walking to the payment counter in a big crowded Book Store carrying ‘Sexy@Sixty’ in my hands. My wife, coming from the other direction, with a load of books, stops, glances at the title and says: ‘Sexy at Sixty?’
‘But you aren’t sixty yet.’
‘I will be…’
‘Why don’t you just begin your morning walks?’
‘It isn’t just about morning walks.’
‘Well, then we can stop eating out as well.’
‘It isn’t just about eating out.’
‘But the title makes me feel much older than I am…’ she protested.
By then I could sense a lot of people around us looking at us through the slyest corner of their eyes and, in a low voice I say, ‘Ok, we’ll buy this one when you’re ready.’
In less than a fortnight from this incidence, I noticed Blogadda asking for reviewers to opt for this book. I apply and am delivered the book. So here I am reading this one without having to spend a rupee from my pocket. I think women have a great intuition when it comes to buying books… their sixth sense tells them when something is going to come your way as a gift.
A gift this book surely is… I say this because Namita Jain has made fitness read like an engrossing tale and you know that the story isn’t fiction, it is a real fiction, so to say! The author has followed the success dictum of modern day combo therapy where one needs to carry, read, understand, and follow just one book than a whole shelf of books from diverse subjects like, cooking, dieting, yoga, exercise, hypertension, diabetes, menopause, osteoporosis, cholesterol, beauty, food, cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, obesity and so on and so forth. She has converted each chapter into a very readable text that is neither a scientific puzzle that cannot be understood, nor a complex regimen that cannot be followed.
When I had started reading this book, I thought I’ll come across page after page of boring and repetitive recipes, lots of shabby line drawings of exercises and postures, sermons, and medical terminology that has clearly been taken and thrust in without a thorough understanding of the implications. The truth is quite away from my initial apprehensions. The book doesn’t sermonize blatantly and tries to gently inform you of the good and the sordid facts linking them up to suggest the best solutions and pathways. There are tips, guidelines, and examples with real people talking about their opinion or experiences that make the book a very credible air. The ambiance of credibility is essential for any book that aims to introduce you to difficult things like exercising and eating right.
Just read what Namita has to say about the controversy between diet and exercise:
Some people prefer losing weight by dieting. Exercise just isn’t their cup of tea, they say. Others prefer to exercise rather than give up on the pleasures of the palate. So which one is more effective? I say neither. What works is a plan that combines both SENSIBLY. A sensible eating plan is necessary because:..
…and the author then goes on to gently lead you into reading her reasoning and her conclusions and in less than one page of text you’d tend to agree when she writes:
The two together – restricting the intake of calories and burning them – will give you arsenal enough to beat obesity and weight gain.
The text has some lovely tips interspersed all through the book. Namita makes it a point to divide her chapters into easily understandable sections like comparisons, questions-and-answers, a short synopsis called ‘fast track’, ready-made suggested plans, cartoons that go with the text, nice clear line drawings, and tips. Let me quote a few of the randomly selected sentences here that I noted in my diary to read and reread for a stronger reinforcement of the message contained in them (the tips are taken from a mix of all the sections mentioned above):
Do not read or watch television when you are eating.
Add variety to avoid boredom. Been walking all this while? Try walking uphill for a change.
One way to get high blood pressure is to go mountain climbing over molehills, said Earl Wilson. So climb back down and take charge of your health.
A mixture of spices such as fennel, basil, oregano, black pepper and garlic serves a worthy substitute; not only does it enhance the flavour of your food it also contains active ingredients that reduce blood pressure.
Since cholesterol presents no symptoms, it is vital that you get your numbers checked every two years.
Know when to stop. If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t! Your body will signal when it is time to modify or stop any exercise or movement that causes extreme discomfort.
If you haven’t exercised for a while, you can begin with as little as ten minutes of walking; keep increasing by five minutes, gradually, until you reach your target of at least thirty minutes per day.
These are a few tips that I have noted for my benefit such as consulting associates like Nephrology & Hypertension Medical Associates for my hypertension, and they aren’t necessarily the ones in bold type face nor are they essentially from some tips section… each of us who read such a book can have a selection that is relevant to them.
This book is like a gentle nudge to the older populace who have been keeping themselves away from a lifestyle that makes them fit. However, I must admit that the book must be read by even the younger lot as the information here is quite easy to grasp. The exercises and the diet plans here may not be relevant to the younger reader but there are always a few essentials that can come in handy at any age. What is important is that when a younger person reads this book, he or she may actually go ahead and gift a copy to the elders in the family… and this is what will lead to a complete family of fit people. This is exactly what I did… ordered a copy that will be mailed to my parents:
Now to tell you the secret of S.M.A.R.T in the title. Well, according to the author, the acronym SMART stands for a little pithy formula that will keep you glued to the fitness trail. She talks about the simplicity of a plan that needs to be customized according to your present lifestyle and your goals. For instance, the S here means you need to be SPECIFIC about ‘how you intend to achieve your goal. It isn’t enough to say you intend to diet and exercise; you need to break that down further.’ She then gives an illustration of how it can be done. The beauty here again is that the entire plan is explained with examples in barely a page and a half and is not full of complex and unachievable ideas. Such a plan help you to take some really important micro-decisions and get on with your pursuit of fitness speedily. So when you read this book, don’t gloss over this part.
No, I’m not sixty yet. But I’m sure glad to have got this book to read and review…