7 of the best health and fitness books to read on your summer travels (or stationary bike)

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From in-depth advice on your periods to the history of sexism and racism in the fitness industry, these are some of the best books about your body. 

There are plenty of great places to head for fitness tips, from Instagram (yes, it sometimes can be useful) to Strong Women’s expert-led articles. But sometimes you want to dive head first into the nitty-gritty of a certain sporting subject – and that’s when you turn to books.

You might think that the fitness section of the non-fiction shelves is just made up of personal trainers who have printed their workout plans, but there’s so much more to read about than just learning how to squat – whether you want to know more about your period, the messy origins of yoga or how we evolved to eat and exercise, there’s a book for that.

Just as engrossing whether you read them on a stationary bike or a sun lounger, these page-turners will have you more educated about your body and the way you use it than ever before.

The best health and fitness books for women in 2022

  • You Can Have A Better Period by Le’Nise Brothers

    You Can Have A Better Period by Le’Nise Brothers

    Get ready to be challenged on everything you thought you knew about “normal” periods with this comprehensive guide to the menstrual cycle. With practical and highly effective advice, as well as the knowledge that you’re not alone, you can work towards having a better period.

    Shop You Can Have A Better Period by Le’Nise Brothers, out now. 

    Buy now

  • Move! by Caroline Williams

    Move! by Caroline Williams

    We know exercise is good for mental health, but science writer Caroline Williams wanted to know why. Enter: Move!, a book that digs into the research about the exact mechanisms that mean movement helps your brain. 

    Shop Move! by Caroline Williams, out now.

    Buy now

  • Big Fit Girl by Louise Green

    Green shares her incredible story of ditching the diets and unleashing her inner athlete and gives research-backed advice on how others can do the same. From the best gear for plus-size athletes to how to set goals, it’s a must-read for inclusive fitness tips. 

    Shop Big Fit Girl by Louise Green, out now. 

    Buy now

  • More Fuel You by Renee McGregor

    More Fuel You by Renee McGregor

    If you’ve ever done a simple Google search on how best to fuel your workouts, you’ll know what a minefield exercise nutrition is. McGregor is here to make eating around your training easy, whether you’re a casual gym-goers, ultra-marathon runner or someone in between (out now).

    Shop More Fuel You by Renee McGregor, out now. 

    Buy now

  • Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman

    Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman

    You might not think twice when you lace up for a run, but there was once a time when society thought women would ruin their wombs if they over exerted their bodies. This book is the story of Lycra-clad feminism and how women went from being banned at races to dominating fitness (out now).

    Shop Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman, out now. 

    Buy now

  • Stronger by Poorna Bell

    Stronger by Poorna Bell

    Poorna Bell is a competitive powerlifter, but it never used to be that way. In this part-memoir, part-manifesto, she starts a crucial conversation about why girls aren’t taught to be strong and how she found her way to the barbell (out now).

    Shop Stronger by Poorna Bell, out now.

    Buy now

  • Game On by Sue Antiss

    An investigation into why women have been excluded from the world of sport for centuries and why now is the time we are seeing things change. Both a celebration of the trailblazing women and a rallying cry to ensure more progress, it’s a great read ahead of a summer of sport. 

    Shop Game On by Sue Antiss, out now.

    Buy now

  • The Yoga Manifesto by Nadia Gilani

    The Yoga Manifesto by Nadia Gilani

    How did an ancient spiritual practice become the preserve of the privileged, asks yogi Nadia Gilani? This book is both a love letter to yoga and a cultural criticism of how the industry no longer serves the practice’s creators. An important read for anyone who rolls out their mat.  

    Shop The Yoga Manifesto by Nadia Gilani, out now. 

    Buy now

  • The Female Factor by Dr Hazel Wallace

    The Female Factor by Dr Hazel Wallace

    Calling time on the male body being the default in medicine, Dr Hazel Wallace exposes the truths about the gender health gap while also sharing tips for how individual women can maximise their health

    Shop The Female Factor by Dr Hazel Wallace, out 7 July 2022. 

    Buy now

  • What Every Woman Needs To Know About Her Gut by Barbara Ryan and Elaine McGowan

    What Every Woman Needs To Know About Her Gut by Barbara Ryan and Elaine McGowan

    Two-thirds of people with gut issues, including IBS, are female, which is why a consultant gastroenterologist and clinical dietitian have paired up to explain everything women need to know about our digestive systems. With simple strategies and easy recipes, this book will have you on your way to gut harmony. 

    Shop What Every Woman Needs To Know About Her Gut by Barbara Ryan and Elaine McGowan, out 23 August 2022. 

    Buy now

Images: from publishers 

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