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You Are Your Own Gym By Mark Lauren

Release date: 12th April, 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books

List Price: £10.99
Our Price: £7.58
You Save: £3.41 (31%)
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It was good to see Andrew Marr back on our television screens recently, looking fit and well following a stroke caused by over-vigorous exercise on a rowing machine.

An increasing number of men and women aged over 40 'rediscover' fitness regimes after winding down in their mid-thirties as a combination of aches and pains deter them from continuing with sports they usually started as youngsters. But where to begin?

Clearly, as Marr proved, there's no point 'going for it' on a rowing machine if it's an exercise you're unused to, although that itself presents men in particular with a challenge. Even when we turn 50, we still believe we're just a slightly slower, weightier 20-something, a potentially dangerous attitude for those in sedentary jobs in particular.

The concept of utilising your body weight as a means of exercising has been around for many years, but Mark Lauren, a former physical training instructor in the US military, has produced one of the most informative, easy-to-follow books on the subject.

Crucially, there's no need to boast a Charles Atlas-style physique before you start the exercises: beginners open at a basic level before progressing to more serious stuff. Provided they adhere to the 30-minute daily regime, they're likely to see rapid results.

Lauren claims his exercises build more 'metabolism-enhancing' muscle than weightlifting , burn more fat than aerobics and are safer than both, since bodyweight exercises develop balance and stability, helping prevent injuries.

Equally important in these straightened times is these exercises can be done in the living room, garden, or even the office.

Lauren covers a host of other topics, including nutrition and, importantly, motivation, en route to presenting more than 120 exercises. However, before attempting the 'Pistols' movement, an exercise which involves standing on one leg, lowering yourself towards the floor as your other leg is stretched outwards and not touching the ground, it might be advisable to tackle something a little easier.

In other words, take Andrew Marr's advice and build up gradually if you want to avoid injury or worse. The great thing about You Are Your Own Gym is that it shows you exactly how to do so in the privacy of your own home.


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