3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Do you need some informed advice on a healthier lifestyle? Do you think that your age is a hurdle towards starting a fitness regime? Do you need to set apart myths from facts regarding fitness and nutrition? Answers to these questions and more can be found in Don Roberts' book, "Wellness Toolbox".
Don is a fitness and nutrition specialist. In his gym, he implements unique training programs and customizes eating plans for his trainees. His knowledge, gained through three decades of dedicated work, makes his book very worthwhile. Here, he tries to provide the reader with science-based fitness and nutrition tips.
The book is divided into four sections. The first section focuses on debunking different myths concerning fitness, discussing other related facts, and finally concluding with Don’s fitness tips. Section Two is intended for presenting different testimonials from Don’s gym clients. The third section discusses nutritional facts, myths, and tips. Finally, the last section is dedicated to debunking other health myths. Many subsections started with funny cartoons, and each ended with a well-chosen, and sometimes humorous, quote. Don also shared relevant personal stories that he has encountered throughout his life.
I was satisfied to find that the studies referred to throughout the book were all being referenced. I consider this of the utmost importance to show the credibility of the data presented. Regarding the health and nutrition sections, I was familiar with much of the information presented in the book, but it was a good reminder of what I already knew. On the other hand, although I’m aware of the importance of exercise, I admit that my knowledge of proper exercises for our health is flimsy. As an unathletic person, I always find myself reluctant to perform any exercises, except perhaps for long-distance walking. What fascinated me is that since I started reading this book, I’ve been trying to exercise for a few minutes almost every day. For me, this is a constructive change. Learning that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) leads to faster and more benefits than steady-state cardio workouts represented a great tip. I was surprised to find out that most people waste their time on bogus exercises. I was also fascinated by the findings regarding the effect of sustained aerobic exercise on regenerating neurons. Furthermore, one of the things that I was amazed at is that many of Don’s trainees commenced their training and eating plans at a very old age, and the benefits were unbelievable.
Despite the prevailing positive aspects of the book, there are some flaws as well. The book is generally well edited. However, as a microbiologist, it wasn’t hard to detect errors in the scientific names of the mentioned microorganisms. Generally, the scientific convention for writing scientific names wasn't followed, such as being in italics. However, the most pronounced mistake was in the name of Staphylococcus aureus. It was split with a comma, as if it belonged to two different bacteria instead of one.
I also disagreed with some of the information presented, or at least found it inaccurate. The gut microbiome was incorrectly explained in some parts as "gut health," while it was correctly defined in another section as "gut bacteria". In addition, even though studies sometimes show conflicting results, I was surprised when Don stated that dates are poor carbohydrates. Although dates are full of unprocessed sugar, they have a low glycemic index. In addition, many peer-reviewed articles state their incredible benefits. Further, stating that some essential oils, such as tea tree oil, are more effective than antibiotics is misleading. Although there have been reports of benefits from this oil, it may also be harmful and should be used with caution. Moreover, though I believe that strengthening our muscles is incredibly beneficial, I don’t possess the same belief in bodybuilding training regimens. Honestly, I always consider bodybuilders to be odd-looking people who don’t look like ordinary humans. Perhaps this is mainly the case with those who use supplements and hormones to achieve this goal and is less prominent with the natural bodybuilding regimens that are encouraged in the book. Lastly, I didn’t like some of the presented photos of trainees with bikinis and briefs. I know that the purpose was to demonstrate the effect of the different training regimes on Don’s clients; however, the same purpose can be achieved when people are dressed up.
All in all, my rating for this book is three out of four. I consider the book of profound importance. It is well structured, and it encourages the reader to implement a healthier lifestyle. I deducted one star because of the aforementioned drawbacks. I think this book can be read by anyone interested in learning more about facts rather than myths concerning health, nutrition, and exercise.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon