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New Guide Simplifies Personal Health and Conditioning

by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer

“A Practical Guide to Personal Conditioning” is the most recent work from Cedarville University professor Dr. David Peterson, assistant professor of kinesiology, published March 2018.

Peterson’s latest title attempts to remedy many problems associated with personal conditioning books: too lengthy, difficult to read and lacking an easy-to-follow process for developing a personalized exercise and nutrition plan.

— David Peterson

While deputy director of the physical education department at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Peterson taught a personal conditioning class. Many midshipmen approached him for help creating a personal exercise program they could continue once they had finished their education at the academy.

To help these students, Peterson combined his class handouts into a booklet just over 100 pages long. Seeing the popularity of the booklet, he decided to convert those class handouts into a textbook.

“I wanted the textbook to be short and concise, but also give students information based on what literature and experts say,” explained Peterson. “So it is a safe, effective resource and not just somebody’s opinion.”

Although the textbook was originally written for midshipmen, it can apply for readers in every stage of life. “As an exercise enthusiast and as someone who was previously a competitive powerlifter, I tried to make the textbook something that I would benefit from, enjoy reading and find immensely helpful,” explained Peterson.

The first six chapters in the textbook discuss personal conditioning, while the last three chapters talk about food choices. Peterson asked Dr. Melissa Rittenhouse, a dietitian at Sports and Wellness Nutrition, to write the nutrition section. “In this era where preventive health is becoming more and more critical, it is a good time for everyone to start learning how the body works in order to prevent disease and live healthy lives,” Rittenhouse said.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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