Emily's Reviews > Sorted: The Active Woman's Guide to Health

Sorted by Juliet McGrattan
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bookshelves: non-fiction

This book was recommended to me by someone in my running group and this is an edited version of a review I wrote on my blog.

My unenthusiasm for this book lies more more in my expectations than in the book. I’m not sure why I had assumed one format over another, but I had imagined a ‘chatty’ book, that you read front to back, with references to peer-reviewed studies and facts throughout. However, it’s lighter on the scientific details than I expected and each section is self-contained and is the kind of thing you’d look up if you wanted some specific information or you were new to exercising or returning after a while away. It’s a little like the ‘first aid in the home’ book for exercise: you might skim though the whole book while in the toilet, then when something happens you’d reach for it to read that section in depth.

The chapters headings are:
- Why Bother?
- Periods
- Breasts
- Pregnancy
- New Mums
- The Pelvic Floor
- The Menopause and Beyond
- Mental Health
- The Digestive System
- The Skin
- Feeling Tired all the Time
- Muscles and Joints
- Common Illnesses
- Common Injuries
- Common Medical Problems
- Long-Term Medical Conditions
- Finding the Time and Motivation.

It then lists useful websites, reading and references.

Things I liked about it: it referenced studies properly, it gave information about studies and further reading, and the voice was understanding rather than dogmatic and I felt the writer understood that doing exercise was not always simple perhaps due to physical health, mental health or time-commitments. Many magazines and articles about sport and injury seem to ignore things like the affect of periods and the menopause, so it was good to read about the related studies. There were a few things I found interesting, and it was generally good to have a science-backed reminder that moving throughout the day is good for me, some ‘scare’ reminders about the problems associated with lack of exercise and a reminder to add strength workouts back into my life.

However, I didn’t learn much that I didn’t know already or - more accurately – there were lots of things that I didn’t need to know (just yet in some cases, hopefully never in others). It was a little light on details in some places, but I understand it would be impossible to give detailed information about everything covered and I think this criticism may have been partially down to my different expectations of the book.

Would I recommend the book? It was excellent (4/5?) at what it was and if you need a book to help give some pointers and information to help you get started or re-started with exercise I think it’d be a very good place to start. However, if you’re already pretty active, used to managing your own body’s quirks, and there have been no significant changes, like pregnancy, the book might not be so useful. Just for how I found it: 2/5, but as mentioned that was because it wasn't what I thought it would be when I ordered it from the library. Find it in a library or bookshop and give it a flick through first if you're unsure.
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Reading Progress

May 14, 2017 – Started Reading
May 14, 2017 – Shelved
May 17, 2017 – Finished Reading
May 30, 2017 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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