Thursday, June 23, 2005

Celeb's book gets to point of Pilates

Powers Pilates

(Fireside Books, $16) by Stefanie Powers and Kathy Corey.

Sadly, there are two immediate marks against this book: It's yet another Pilates book being peddled by yet another celebrity. But don't be fooled by that unfortunate combination. It's actually good. It's concise, plainly written and free of jargon. It sticks with exercise and doesn't try to be an overall health and diet plan, which too often bogs down fitness books. Simple directions and straightforward pictures convey the positions. What's more, Powers looks great. In fact, she looks terrific in a way that not even surgery can produce.

If you have no idea who she is because her hit TV show "Hart to Hart" predates you, that's probably just as well. Powers and Corey wrote the book for women older than 50, focusing on flexibility, posture and alignment.

They divide the book into chapters setting up the program and then clearly outline the different types of exercises. You'll need no more than a mat and a towel. Finally, they suggest a gradual workout plan that you can work into your daily routine. Once you've accomplished this, they believe you can easily commit to a 20-minute daily stretching and maintenance program or switch easily to a full-blown 60-minute workout.

And because it is all presented so simply, you finish the book thinking you can actually do it.

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