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March 25, 1961

Exercise and Fitness: A Collection of Papers Presented at the Colloquium on Exercise and Fitness, Robert Allerton Park, Monticello, Illinois, December 6-8, 1959

JAMA. 1961;175(12):1114. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040120076036

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Twenty substantial chapters by as many authors make up this inconspicuous but important book. They are grouped into 5 sections. The first 4 deal with the medical, physiological, nutritional, and psychological aspects of fitness and exercise and the fifth relates exercise and fitness to physical education. Much fundamental scientific work is critically summarized in some chapters; in others, the applications are described in commendable detail. Renewed efforts are made to crystallize the concept of fitness, to define it in operational terms, to make concrete recommendations about food and drink before and during athletic competition, and to appraise present-day programs of physical activity in schools and YMCA's.

This book illustrates the advantages of bringing together experts from various fields for systematic consideration of a common area of interest. Several instances of muddled thinking and incongruous practices can be found in it, and the reader can console himself with the thought that

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