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Fitness Matters: Expert answers to your health and wellness questions

Question: I'm looking to learn a bit more about nutrition, but with so many books on the store shelves, how do I know which one is the right one? Answer: Good question! It's hard to sort through all the clutter as you peruse the book store shelve...

Question: I'm looking to learn a bit more about nutrition, but with so many books on the store shelves, how do I know which one is the right one?

Answer: Good question! It's hard to sort through all the clutter as you peruse the book store shelves, but there are a few things you can do to narrow down the list. First of all, find out as much as you can about the author of a particular book, either by reading the back of the book or by going to their website. Does the individual have nutrition credentials? You'd be surprised how many so-called experts write books about topics they have little to no knowledge of. I would also recommend reading the books reviews on Amazon.com or some other similar website. You'll typically see commentary from consumers as well as experts, so you get varied opinions about the premise and basic contents of the book. It's also helpful to read a passage or two--do you see anything that sounds too good to be true? This is almost always a red flag for misinformation. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, seek out a nutrition expert and get their recommendations. Most experts stay fairly well-read, so they'll have a lot of insight into the best books out there!

Question: Everyone seems to be using some sort of activity monitor these days. What do you think--are they worth the investment?

Answer: I agree with you! Activity monitors have become quite popular. They come in many different shapes and sizes, have a number of different features, and are often used with some sort of software that the devices sync to. Even if you're not a tech geek, they can be worth the investment if you're simply looking to change your lifestyle, and you need more accountability for your behaviors. In my opinion, the ability to track the number of calories that you burn, even when not working out, is by far the best feature. This is something that we've never really been able to quantify, until now. If you're looking to purchase one, there's only one question you need to address. Which one should I get? There are numerous options available, so the decision comes down to the features that it has, the cost, the size of the device itself, and even where you wear it on your body. Search the internet for fitness gadget, or activity monitor, reviews, and try to gather all the facts before you make your decision. You might want to talk with a personal trainer or other fitness professional as well.

About the author: Liz Albright is the club manager at Anytime Fitness in Worthington, MN. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at worthingtonmn@anytimefitness.com .

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