This book keeps everything very simplistic and personal, a good start considering the subject matter it addresses can be sensitive to some people.
At first pick up you may feel daunted because you admit you are out of shape or feel you do not do enough, but soon enough you are reassured, and are dragged through to positive thinking of where you can go, physically and emotionally.
This book begins with a focus on emotional 'fitness' and Martina goes through various methods, such as writing a journal, making sure you have the right company and so on, in effect building you up to believe that you can make positive changes. The process moves to how we eat and view food, and there is very little jargon. Martina's experiences with certain foods add again that personal touch. And finally, the physical section, which again is simple, well illustrated and planned.
As a relatively fit 21 year old male, I bought this book mainly to help me emotionally, and to help guide my eating habits for years to come. It works, in a few weeks I am starting to feel brighter and more confident as an individual, and I have more energy than I can ever remember. With knowledge of Martina's legacy, I must admit I half bought this book out of 'fandom', but it is so much deeper than. The techniques and what not can make a massive difference, and I can't wait to continue with it.
One should not judge a book by its cover, but I think the picture of Martina Navratilova on the cover of this one speaks for itself. She looks poised, fit and comfortable with herself and the world. The advice she gives here is based on the struggles she experienced to become a great athlete and the many anecdotes she uses to illustrate her points are both helpful and entertaining.
The section I found most useful was exercise chapter which is illustrated with exemplary clarity. The suggested exercise plans are divided into routines for beginners, intermediates and the advanced so that there is something within everyone's reach.
All in all, this is a clear and well written guide to improving your health and fitness. The encouraging tone of the book is combined with a practical step-by-step approach which is very appealing even to those who might not consider themselves in any way athletic.
Plain and simply, this book is very, very good and worth it's 5 stars. No need to repeat all the kudos from previous reviews here and on the US amazon site -- but a few points for people who might think this is just a book for amateur/die-hard athletes, or else yet another condescending book for the unfit written by a star athlete who really has never struggled with common human weight problems. Not so.
Back in the 1970s, though she was a rising tennis star, Navratilova was famed for being a teenage athlete with a weight problem. When she went into her early 20s and her game began to suffer, she was taken in hand by a coach that helped her with her emotional eating, her psychological mindset, and along with her helped to establish an entirely new level of fitness for women athletes, professional or amateur.
Quite simply, this book hits at the heart of our motivations and de-motivations to do what is good for our bodies, as well as setting out a very realistic programme with a lot of info on setting and meeting goals, as well as what to do physically. This woman really has been there, really has struggled with the daily mere mortal problems that her readers face and still went on to become one of the world's best athletes despite her struggles.
This book is by a woman who is inspirational and knowledgable about what she speaks.
I bought this book when in recovery from a long illness and feeling very fat and unfit and a bit fragile. I loved it! Martina's advice on how to become fit, emotionally, mentally and physically, is so gentle that I never felt hectored, and her own honesty about the battles she's had comes across. So many of the techniques are so simple, and she encourages you to make just one small change at a time, which really helps. I started off with her exercises and felt immediate benefits in core strength - have now moved on to exercise DVDs.
The section on food is excellent too - no calorie counting or denying yourself, just really sensible advice on eating healthily. One of the main things I got from it was the importance of eating small amounts frequently - I tried having a mid-afternoon snack and found I no longer arrived home from work exhausted, for instance.
My only quibble would be that, in trying everything, Martina occasionally comes out with stuff I'd consider a bit questionable - for instance, that we are unhealthier than ever before (heart disease, cancer etc) due to our modern diets. Of course, the real reason is that we now live long enough to die of these illnesses - when life expectancy was 30 years few people lived long enough to die of cardiovascular disease! But aside from these very minor quibbles, I recommend this book unreservedly.
Martina was my inspiration as a teenage tennis player and is probably the main reason I am fit, strong and healthy today. She is a very determined, focused woman, now with a long (50+) lifetime of knowledge and experience behind her. If you think you are too old to learn new tricks, get fitter, live a fullfilled life ... buy this book and think again! Her section on diet (including her own battles with emotional eating in the past) are sensible and inspiring. The recipes are delicious. The exercises she describes are sound and effective. She doesn't mention yoga at all but, as a yoga teacher, I found much of what she has to say about functional fitness and some of the movements she describes perfectly aligned with yoga practices. A book worth every penny!
i bought this because i googled 'best diet and fitness plan' and this came top of search - and it lives up to all the other reviews its recieved. it is really down to earth in its motivation ( something i badly need!) and Martina is sensible in her advice on diet and fitness - i look forward to the results!