The Bottom Line
Beginners or those who've had trouble sticking with exercise in the past will find Dr. Simon's approach to what he calls 'cardiometabolic exercise' refreshing. By assigning points to different activities and asking you to set a goal for accumulating a certain number of points each week, he takes the confusion out of exercise and makes it easier to incorporate it into your life. The problem is that it takes a long time to get to the good stuff.
- An emphasis on health and quality of life instead of on just weight loss or appearance
- An easy-to-use points system that allows for flexibility and variety in reaching your exercise goals
- Much of the book includes a lot of science to back up what most of us already know about exercise
- An exercise program that focuses on improving health and quality of life
- A program based on a unique system that helps you accumulate exercise points in a variety of ways
- Emphasis on cardio with a nod towards strength training, balance, flexibility and healthy eating
Guide Review - The No Sweat Exercise Plan
I like Dr. Simon's approach to exercise and his emphasis on exercising for health and not just improving how your body looks. He advocates 4 types of activities: Cardiometabolic (CME), strength training, balance and flexibility and all these are covered to some degree throughout the book. However, the first part is essentially a re-hash of common sense ideas (e.g. exercise is good for us and we should do it more often) peppered with a wealth of facts, statistics and other dry information that can be a little boring to get through. The stand-out here is his idea of 'cardiometabolic exercise' (CME). As he states, CME is flexible and adaptable and, "because so many activities count as cardiometabolic exercise, you can choose the ones that best fill your schedule and suit your preferences." This flexibility allows you to exercise in small doses or longer blocks of time, both of which help you accumulate the exercise you need. To do it, you set a CME point goal and then choose activities from the list to meet that goal. For example, a 140-lb person would get 150 points for walking at 4 mph for 30 minutes. His points system (which includes points for everything from traditional exercise to daily activities like cooking, dusting and taking out the trash) lets you get your exercise in however you like. This is a good choice if you don't like to exercise, but only if you're willing to wade through a lot of common-sense facts and figures to get to the good stuff.