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Body for Life for Women:
A Woman's Plan for Physical and Mental Transformation

by Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP
2005

body for life for women by pamela peeke Perhaps it's only news to the scientists and researchers, but women are wired differently from men, both mentally and physiologically. Bill Phillips' excellent Body for Life program rang true for lots of men and quite a few women too, but the bottom line is that the female approach to life and exercise needs its own tactics. This is where Pamela Peeke's book comes in. She understands that most women tend to nurture others before they even think about caring for themselves; that quite a few females are emotional eaters; that weight training is something foreign to a lot of ladies; and let's not forget all those hormonal challenges! Dr. Peeke's book takes all that into consideration and she has created a book and a program that's a little more forgiving and flexible than Phillips' original program. For those women who are busy working moms — and that's quite a big number these days — this approach is necessary. You can't give 100% to your exercise program when your kid gets sick and you're behind on preparing a report that's due that afternoon. Days when everything breaks loose are bound to happen, and they shouldn't make anyone throw up their hands and give up completely on creating a fit lifestyle. Peeke encourages you to do what you can when the going gets tough — the important part is to just keep going. She is also big on getting women to understand that they must care for themselves if they are going to do their best at taking care of their families (imagine having to tell a guy that!). The one downside of the book is that there is very little offered as far as actually structuring an exercise routine. You're shown the exercises, told to alternate upper body and lower body, given a basic cardio routine and reminded to build flexibility through cross training with Yoga or Pilates. This may not be enough information for somebody who is new to exercise. Maybe a Body for Life for Women workout DVD is on the horizon. The eating plan is equally easy-going, but the rules (and when you can break them) are laid out clearly enough so that anyone who sincerely wants to drop pounds can follow them.

Busy women who bristle at the go-for-it, hard-bodied approach of some exercise books will get a lot out of the kinder, gentler women's version of Body for Life. Those who don't mind getting down and sweaty with the guys, however, will probably prefer the original.

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