Rapidly approaching 50 myself, I picked up Fit Femme After 50: A Busy Woman’s Guide to a Strong, Attractive, Pain-Free-Body by Doug Setter with the idea that I could incorporate some suggestions into what I have determined will be my healthier lifestyle going forward. I hoped for some inspirational stories of women firming up in later years and several practical exercises for my routines. My expectations were partially fulfilled, which is saying something.
The author highlighted the stories of several women who were successfully fit and, more accurately, tough broads, like Iris Davis, body-building champion at 76, and Monika Kriedmann-Bleckenwegner, over 50, who completed the Austria Iron Man competition the day after having a tooth pulled. These women were definitely inspirational!
Following that, the author gave several suggestions on how to motivate yourself, what to each, which vitamins to take, and some solid exercises to do, complete with clear pictures on how to do them. Honestly, it was great stuff.
However, large sections of the book were irrelevant to me as a nearing 50 woman. The author included his personal experiences, including his time in the military, that, as a male, weren’t be experiences I could relate to. Statistically, only a little of 14 percent of the U.S. military are women anyway. While Canada, the author’s native country, has a higher percentage ranging between 13 to 19 percent depending on the service branch.
Although there was a chapter on hormones, one of the most significant issues women at 50 face, the author failed to convince me that his suggestions were designed for women in that age group. The examples and personal experiences cited were, more often than not, male, like Abe Vigoda, Dan Brown, Louis L’Amour, the author himself. A quick google search turns up Susan Shapiro, Joan Wolf, Edie Meidav as women writers over 50 who incorporate exercise into their lives. As for performers, we have Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Sharon Stone, Elle Macpherson, Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry as steller examples of fit and healthy women over 50.
Then, the English teacher in me cringed at each dash used instead of proper punctuation. Although I didn’t find any spelling or grammatical errors, this constant misuse detracted from my reading experience.
Despite the fallacies mentioned above, Fit Femme After 50: A Busy Woman’s Guide to a Strong, Attractive, Pain-Free-Body by Doug Setter contains solid fitness advice for anyone, male or female, to improve their physical and mental well-being.
I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery. You can see my review here.