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Book Review: Naked Fitness by Andrea Metcalf

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Andrea Metcalf is a 27 year veteran personal trainer, pilates teacher, and coach who specializes in creating healthy lifestyle programs for people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. She has worked with Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, and has several well reviewed DVDs targeted to the boomer market. I have admired Metcalf’s work for many years, and was excited to take a look at her new book, Naked Fitness, which touts itself as “The proven 28 day lifestyle program for a slimmer, fitter, pain free body”.

According to Metcalf, Naked Fitness is not about looking great naked, but about

stripping away stuff like unhealthy, toxic habits, negative thinking, cravings, lack of time to exercise, emotional overeating, people who sabotage you, poor self-esteem and body image, and one of the biggest obstacles of all: stress. With these factors managed or out of your life completely, you are guaranteed to lose weight and keep it off. Plus, you’ll boost your “naked confidence,” a love-your-body attitude that will improve your life as a whole.

At first look I was a bit taken aback by the fact that the book is a hardcover priced at $25.95, with the Kindle version selling for over $12. Most health and fitness books are released as less expensive and easier to use paperbacks, which make them more accessible. In my first flip through I also noticed that there are very few photos, that the exercise photos that are there are black and white and small, and while Pilates is rarely mentioned Metcalf offers “walk-ilates”, “friend-ilates”, and even “paw-ilates” as exercise categories. Also, Metcalf claims early on that, “The key difference between my program and others is that we work on and correct postural alignment.” At this point in time I cannot name a decent fitness program that doesn’t have this focus.

At base level this is a healthy program that works because Metcalf has you walking 2 hours every single day (not necessarily all in one shot), doing a short stretching and strengthening routine, and eating less quantity of higher nutrient foods. And as we all know, if you eat less, eat better, and exercise more there is a good chance you will lose weight!

While the walking is free, the heart rate monitor and pedometer that she recommends will cost some money. Plus, instead of offering a simple, no equipment, body weight routine Metcalf does ask that you buy a mat, resistance tubing, light (3-8 pound) dumbbells, a large stability ball, and a smaller soft ball. You will look at spending at least $200 on equipment to get started.

Again, this is not an unhealthy or untenable program. I simply believe that this information could have been better presented in a less expensive format with a simpler body weight exercise program with some Pilates and cardio.

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