As Americans' average life expectancy increases, people are looking for diet and fitness strategies for a longer, healthier life. At Atria, publisher Judith Curr says, "There really haven't been many big healthy aging books in several years"—a lack that the publisher hopes to fill with April's The Life Plan: Dr. Life's Guide for Men to Great Health, Better Sex, and a Stronger, Leaner Body by Dr. Jeffrey S. Life. "I think men are looking for quick answers," says Curr, "and while Dr. Life's approach isn't as easy as just popping a pill, it's entirely logical and much easier than what one might think, given the results."
Simplicity is a hallmark of Dr. Mao-shing Ni's bestselling Secrets of Longevity, which Chronicle published in 2006, as well as his new Secrets of Longevity: Dr. Mao's 8-Week Program, out in December. "When change is small, it feels achievable, and so we're willing to change," says editor Kate Woodrow. The book suggests five new habits per week, one of which the reader will adopt and carry through the entire program. According to Woodrow, "The workbook format helps people be specific in their actions, track their consistency, and—most important—hold themselves accountable."
Fitness: Straight Talk for the Time-crunched
Readers also want professional advice that will take the guesswork and injury risk out of exercise, enabling them to get the most out of their time spent. "Our target fitness and nutrition consumer expects more and better information, and expects it to be presented in an inviting and accessible manner," says Richard Hollwedel, trade sales director at sports and recreation publisher Human Kinetics. Next June, in partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine, HM will publish ACSM's Complete Guide to Fitness & Health, edited by Barbara Bushman. With 196 color photos, the book offers activities and sample programs for every age and fitness level and has step-by-step instructions for gaining muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility and balance.
"Readers want the most up-to-date information and best practices devised from both new science and the power and knowledge of crowd sourcing," says Touchstone editor Stacy Creamer. "If technology can play a key role in a healthy lifestyle—even better. People want to take advantage of all the tools they have at their disposal in today's world." Touchstone's Body by Design: The Complete 12-Week Plan to Transform Your Body Forever (Jan.) by Kris Gethin, editor-in-chief of Bodybuilding.com, includes the nearly 700,000-member fitness social network BodySpace.
Although fitness is a personal pursuit, collaboration can be empowering. "When we join a gym, we're often given a free personal training session; we all recognize that once the lesson is over, it would be great to have a personal trainer," says Morrow editor Matthew Benjamin. Beat the Gym: Personal Trainer Secrets—Without the Personal Trainer Price Tag offers a step-by-step tour of the typical gym, including advice on how to make the most of machines and free weights and more than 50 workouts to help readers maximize their workout. The tone is straightforward, says Benjamin: "We wanted it to be Eat This, Not That for the gym."
This month Wiley published Fitness magazine's Fitness Fast Track to a Better Body: All-Time Best Workouts to Tone and Trim in 15 Minutes. Denise Austin's Get Energy! which Center Street will publish on January 7, also offers tips for the time-crunched in the form of 90-second "energy breaks," five-minute stretch sessions, and a 20-minute workout routine. "The fact that you need to maintain a balanced diet and get regular exercise to stay in shape doesn't change," says Center Street editor Christina Boys, "but Denise is able to adapt her advice to the realities of our everyday lives."
Perhaps one of the most visible time-savers is Timothy Ferriss, the bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek. His follow-up, The 4-Hour Body (Crown, Dec.) is subtitled An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. In it, Ferriss details how he has spent a lifetime trying to answer the question, "For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results?" His search includes using his own body as a laboratory, logging more than a decade of his own workouts, and interviewing experts, from elite athletes to researchers and doctors. "There's no other book like this on the market," says Crown Archetype publisher Tina Constable. "We see it as a radical category game-changer."n