The original Fitness for Dummies, published in 1996, was a real breakthrough: a book that took a reader through all the fitness basics without being offputtingly complicated or insultingly simplistic. This second edition only improves on that tough balancing act.
The authors are two of the most experienced fitness writers in the business--Suzanne Schlosberg is a longtime contributor to Shape and Liz Neporent is a veteran personal trainer, corporate fitness consultant, and contributor to Shape and The New York Times. In addition to being experienced at explaining exercise, they're both exercise junkies, and their firsthand knowledge and love of the topic is evident throughout.
Each section of the book--whether dealing with basic fitness issues, cardiovascular training, strength training, flexibility, joining a gym, or exercising at home--offers a combination of well-researched, easily understandable information, combined with informed opinion. For example, in chapters discussing exercise equipment, they're able to offer personal reactions to the gear--mentioning that Life Fitness makes great exercise bikes but a treadmill they don't care for.
New information in this second edition includes "100 Reasons to Break a Sweat," featuring the latest research on exercise benefits; sections incorporating Internet fitness resources; and beefed-up exercise-video advice. That latter section includes tips about avoiding rip-offs (older videos are sometimes repackaged, with new covers promising different benefits) and a handy guide to choosing the best video instructors for different fitness levels.