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Kathy Smith's Flex Appeal: Look Great and Feel Sexy at Any Age    by Kathy Smith order for
Kathy Smith's Flex Appeal
by Kathy Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

Being an avid exerciser and having used some of Kathy Smith's aerobics videos in the past, I was interested in checking out Kathy Smith's Flex Appeal. Who doesn't want to look great and feel sexy, age notwithstanding? As a busy working mother and wife, I eagerly opened up Flex Appeal to see what Smith recommended. I was interested in reading new information on how to stay healthy, fit, sexy, and to balance a busy lifestyle in the process.

Smith instructs women not to let their jobs, parenthood, or menopause strip away their ability to feel sexy or confident. A leader in the fitness industry for over twenty years, Smith is now in her early fifties and has come up with a prescription, if you will, to keep an aging woman's libido and sensual vitality intact. Flex Appeal is based upon two principles: (1) the sensual aspect is one of the body's systems and must be kept healthy for one's well-being, and (2) one's sensuality and sexuality is best approached in an overall regimen that addresses fitness level, body awareness and self-image. In light of these two principles, the author attempts to advise women how to train and condition their bodies so they are connected with their physical self and their sensual self.

The book is comprised of two sections. Part One explains the above principles and the basics of the program, which incorporates weight training, cardio exercise, and yoga. Yoga is the foundation of Flex Appeal and the majority of Part Two is devoted to pictures of the yoga exercises and instructions on how to perform each of them. The pictures of Smith performing the exercises are helpful in understanding how to perform the yoga movements, and the instructions are clear and concise. The remainder of Part Two is devoted to a discussion of body-image issues and investigating the ways that the mind and body disconnect from each other, e.g. due to stress, motherhood, menopause, excess weight, etc.. Smith provides assessment tools to measure one's body image and provides advice on sleep, nutrition and energy levels.

Smith is in excellent physical condition and the photographs of her are inspirational. She clearly has a firm knowledge base on physical health and fitness. But while Flex Appeal is well laid out and the principles appear sound, I didn't find any of the information to be unique or informative, compared to other exercise books and recommended exercise regimens on the market. Most people know that eating healthy, exercising, and taking time for ourselves helps us feel sexier and more confident. It is common sense. I recommend Flex Appeal primarily to those women who are new to exercise and who need to develop basic healthy lifestyle habits.

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