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Kathy Smith's Flex Appeal: Look Great and Feel Sexy at Any Age
by Kathy Smith with Robert Miller
2004

With her long, lithe body and youthful glow, fitness icon Kathy Smith certainly doesn't look like a woman who is in her early 50s. But she is, and she has been troubled by many of the same issues that concern other women in her age group. After undergoing the stress of being a caretaker, dealing with a divorce, going through menopause and raising her two daughters (not to mention running her immensely successful business), it's no wonder she found that sex and sensuality had not just taken a back seat in Smith's life — they were nowhere to be found. That lack of vitality is not uncommon for women in their midlife years, so Smith tacked this dilemma with her usual curiosity and examination, and searched for a solution. She found it somewhere between Yoga, Middle Eastern dance and massage and calls her new approach to fitness "Flex Appeal."

Flex Appeal (as opposed to mere "sex appeal") means feeling good about yourself, learning to live comfortably inside your body and delighting in the world of the senses. Unlike anything Smith has done in the past, Flex Appeal is not really about raising your heart rate, building muscles or gaining flexibility. She's been there and done all that; this time the approach is more whole-istic, integrating grace and receptivity while reconnecting with your sexuality. You won't find a single dumbbell in over 200 pages of exercises. Instead you'll discover hip rolls and heart openers, core moves and facial massage, Yoga poses and dance moves. (Smith, incidentally, confesses that the extended photo session for this book was the most energizing she had ever done.) But the exercise program is just part of the equation. You'll also find sensory awareness exercises, a luxurious self-massage routine and sections to help you learn about your energy cycles, nutrition and how to redefine your body image — all the things that are normally overlooked in an exercise book.

The saying "you're not getting older, you're getting better" is often used as a panacea, and a particularly unhelpful one at that. In Kathy Smith's case, the saying is not only true, she has created a book that really does help its readers get better as they get older. If you're looking for a hardbody exercise book, there are many out there, but if you want to learn how to appreciate your body, regain your flagging energy and feel sexy again, then Smith has a program for you.

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