Specific lifestyle changes to improve cardiac health--with a built-in warning against overreliance on certain recent research findings. People forget, Blanding notes, that since heart disease has many contributing causes, its prevention and treatment should address all those causes; thus, any guide that stresses only a single aspect of the problem (like Friedman and Rosenman's Type A Behavior and Your Heart) is incomplete, at best. From the results of comprehensive studies, he has singled out seven factors implicated in our coronary status: cholesterol (the earlier a healthy diet is adopted, the better--by middle age, the damage is largely done); smoking (don't); physical activity (the right kind of exercise can be of enormous benefit); personality types (now roughly measurable--from calm to hypertense); weight (a small and equivocal factor in actual coronary disease); and diabetes and high blood pressure (both of which can be significantly improved by lifestyle changes, not just by medication). After discussing the basics, Blanding sets out a practical plan for improvement in each area. And since ""exercise is by far the most important thing that most of us can do to protect our health and life,"" he spends much time discussing pulse points: how much of what kind of exercise stresses the heart sufficiently to improve fitness. Just as other guides have covered only one aspect of cardiac fitness, Blanding covers only one aspect of good health. But many of the changes he recommends can improve total well-being--and those at special risk will especially benefit from the clear, complete program.