McHenry County Author Spotlight: Crystal Lake exercise scientist's 'Food & Fitness After 50'

Exercise scientist Bob Murray of Crystal Lake has co-authored the book "Food & Fitness After 50."

The book is described as the opposite of a fad diet book. Instead of hyping the latest trends, it provides people in their 50s and beyond simple no-nonsense strategies for eating well, moving well and being well, so they can enjoy active, heathy lives, a press release states.

Murray co-founded the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and served as its director for 23 years. Today, he advises on exercise science.

Following is his Author Spotlight:

Hometown: Crystal Lake

Latest Book: "Food and Fitness After 50"

Publisher: Chicago-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest professional organization of registered dietitians and nutritionists.

Release Date: October 2017

Where can we find it?

On Amazon and at other booksellers.

What's it about?

'Food and Fitness After 50' is about giving people the confidence to choose eating and exercise strategies that will work for them. Making those kinds of changes can be a daunting task for those who have not been physically active or have neglected their diet for decades. The intent of the book is to help people understand that even small, manageable changes in eating and exercise can have big benefits to health and longevity.

Where did the idea come from?

My co-author, Dr. Christine Rosenbloom, has had a long and distinguished career as a registered dietitian and nutritionist. We've known each other for years and have collaborated before on articles in both scientific and lay publications. Chris thought it would be a great idea to combine her expertise in nutrition with mine in exercise science to write a book for people who have reached their 50s [and beyond] and want to make sustainable changes in their eating and exercise habits.

What genre is your book, and why were you drawn to it?

Health is the genre for 'Food and Fitness After 50.' Our professional backgrounds and skill sets – and ages – made the category and topic a comfortable and logical choice for us.

Who is the intended audience?

Although the book title targets those 50 and older, anyone interested in changing their eating and exercise habits to help live longer and healthier lives will find useful and inspirational content.

Why is this story important to you?

As I've grown older, eating, moving and being well have become increasingly important. My entire life has revolved around exercise and sports, both recreationally and professionally, so it's fairly easy for me to separate fact from fiction when it comes to eating and exercise. I know many people struggle to find accurate advice that they can easily understand and apply to their lives. 'Food and Fitness After 50' is my contribution to helping people accomplish just that.

How long did it take you to write? What was your process?

When we began working on the book in the summer of 2015, Christine and I took a divide-and-conquer approach. She wrote the chapters on nutrition, and I tackled those on exercise. We shared our drafts and, over the course of bouncing revisions back and forth [Chris lives in Georgia], settled on an approach we think will keep readers engaged and motivated to make changes in their eating and exercise habits.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? What was the hardest part?

The most enjoyable part of writing 'Food and Fitness After 50' was to make scientific topics understandable and useful to a wide range of readers. Neither Chris nor I think of ourselves as experts in aging. But we both have a knack and enthusiasm for helping people make sense of important advances in the science of nutrition and fitness.

How are you publishing this book and why (traditional/indie/self-publishing)?

I understand that 'Food and Fitness After 50' is the first book in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' consumer division. The academy has done a great job promoting the book and getting the word out to consumers with the help of television advertising, radio/TV interviews and other promotional efforts.

What is your education/background?

I entered college with the notion I would spend my life as a high school physical education teacher and coach. No one was more surprised than I to eventually discover an enthusiasm for science that led me to earn a PhD in exercise physiology from Ohio State. After finishing my studies, I became an exercise science professor at Boise State University, with the intent of spending my career in academia. A twist of fate had me leave the mountains of Idaho for the flatlands of Illinois to help co-found the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, still located at the Pepsico R&D facility in Barrington. I served as director of GSSI for 23 years (1985-2008). Since then, I've been working as a consultant for companies large and small, providing support for their interests in exercise science and sports nutrition.

How/why did you decide to write a book?

My decision to write the book was in large part due to my coauthor's arm twisting. Chris' persistence and passion overwhelmed my initial reluctance to write another book.

Who are your favorite authors?

I don't read much non-fiction, but enjoy the occasional biography or history book.

Pick one: Danielle Steel or John Grisham?


Pick one: Stephen King or Nicholas Sparks?

Have not read either, although Sparks' work seems more appealing.

Pick one: Ebooks or hard/paperbacks?


Have you written anything else?

'Food and Fitness After 50' is my third book, but the first one targeted consumers. The other two books are 'Sports Drinks: Basic Science and Practical Aspects' (2000, CRC Press), a text devoted to the science of sports drinks, and 'Practical Guide to Exercise Physiology' (2016, Human Kinetics), a highly illustrated book for personal trainers, coaches and others interested in learning the fundamentals of fitness and nutrition science. I also have authored scientific papers, book chapters and lay articles.

What's next for you?

I suspect new editions will keep me busy in the future. I have no plans to write another book, but I've said that before and it hasn't been true.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Twitter: @bobmurrayssi