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WOMEN TO WOMEN by Catharine and Barbara Yarnell Stewart-Roache


: A Handbook for Active Aging

by Catharine and Barbara Yarnell Stewart-Roache

Pub Date: April 24th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-913478-11-0

A simple guide to active living aimed at women over 60.

Stewart-Roache and Yarnell met on a Semester at Sea voyage and realized that they shared the same dedication to fitness, despite having different body types and being 62 and 70 years old, respectively. The two decided to create a basic fitness handbook for older women complete with information addressing frequent senior health problems such as arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis and loss of vision, taste or hearing. Noting that most fitness articles aimed at older people promise to extend life or reverse aging, the authors focus on fitness as a way to improve the overall quality of one’s life rather than a way to erase wrinkles or turn back the clock. Stewart-Roache and Yarnell’s refreshing, no-nonsense attitude toward aging can be summed up by their brusque, introductory statement that “old can be active old or rocking chair old.” The book continues in a similarly conversational tone, with the first half consisting of a quick introduction to nutrition and aerobic exercise, interspersed with notes of friendly encouragement. Much of the nutrition wisdom is somewhat typical (such as encouragement to eat antioxidants and avoid high-fructose corn syrup), but the book also includes useful information on eating to avoid diabetes and the authors’ personal tips for maintaining a healthy weight. The fitness section includes information on achieving one’s target heart rate and proper warm-up and cool-down procedures, followed by tips to avoid injury and advice for staying goal-oriented. The remaining half of the book consists of useful reference information including charts of vitamins and minerals, exercise plans, goal sheets, healthy recipes and examples of the fitness plans followed by other older women. The authors provide short exercise plans for running, bicycling, yoga and swimming, but encourage women to explore other, equally healthy activities, such as ping-pong, scuba diving, skiing and golf. Fitness veterans may find the book lacks sufficient research or depth, but it’s a excellent start for beginners.

An appealing introduction to healthy living.