Former Occidental College swimming and water polo coach Hopper (Healthcare Happily Ever After, 2007, etc.) offers a concise guide to developing an exercise program.
Hopper notes that seven out of 10 Americans don’t get enough exercise to be healthy. He provides readers with eight short chapters full of inspiring examples and steps to start a fitness regimen and, more importantly, stay with it. Written in lively, conversational prose, each chapter examines one aspect of Hopper’s plan, starting with the one he proclaims most important: fun. The point is to find something effortless and enjoyable, such as dancing, body surfing, mountain or rock climbing, and gradually increase the amount of practice time and effort put into that activity until it becomes second nature. The guide strongly recommends finding a coach to explain how to do the activity safely and effectively, joining a team to provide participants with a support system and exercise buddies, protecting the scheduled time for activity, and seeking supplementary fitness activities that complement the preferred activity, such as taking weight training classes to improve stamina for dancing. Hopper even includes lists of responses to the typical reasons/excuses people use to get out of physical activity. Unfortunately, the author doesn’t cover the reason many abandon their sport: injuries sustained while attempting something new or while trying to move from one level of fitness to another. A chapter on safe workouts, low-impact modifications to activities, and how to keep motivated while in recovery from an injury would have made the guide more complete.
Simple, easy-to-follow steps detail how to develop a lasting workout regimen.