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How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! Paperback – February 7, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 153 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This book will be called the ‘bible’ of movement and nutrition." -- Eric Serrano, M.D.

About the Author

As a Holistic Health Practitioner, Neuromuscular Therapist and corrective exercise specialist, Paul Chek has developed a unique approach to wellness and education that ties in concepts from each of these fields. By treating the body as a whole system and finding the main cause of a problem, Paul has been successful where traditional methods have consistently failed.

He founded the C.H.E.K Institute in California as a focal point for the education of elite health and exercise professionals. The C.H.E.K Institute runs four advanced certification programs and provides numerous training videos and courses to students worldwide. An internationally acclaimed presenter and consultant, Paul’s clients have included: the Los Angeles Chiropractic College, Johnson & Johnson, the conditioning staff of the Chicago Bulls, Australia’s Canberra Raiders, the US Air Force Academy, professional and amateur athletes from a variety of sports, as well as numerous rehabilitation clients. Paul is a contributing writer to many industry publications and websites and has authored several books, including The Golf Biomechanic’s Manual and Movement That Matters.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: C.H.E.K Institute; 1St Edition edition (February 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583870067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583870068
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

NOW AVAILABLE! My Blog is now available as a subscription through the Kindle Store. I update my blog 3-5 times a week and each entry is generally a lengthy essay, not just a tweet about what I had for breakfast! Subscribe, read and post your comments for others to respond.

I began my career as trainer of the US Army Boxing Team at Ft Bragg, North Carolina in 1984. There, it was my job to develop exercise and nutrition programs for 30 of the best boxers in the world, a job offered to me by the team coaches when I was an active member of the team. My job also included caring for sports injuries for Army athletes that trained at Callahan Sports Arena. While I was not well versed in this area when I began as trainer, I applied my self to the never-ending task of studying all necessary information, while at the same time being tutored by our team boxing doctor, Charles Pitluck, who is a doctor of osteopathic medicine.

Upon leaving the Army, I studied sports massage at the Sports Massage Training Institute in Encinitas, California, while at the same time working with a chiropractor that specialized in sports injuries here in San Diego. I was then asked to work at the largest physical therapy clinic in San Diego - Sports and Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. This was a unique opportunity to learn, as there were 13 orthopaedic surgeons and 22 physical therapists and athletic trainers working together in that center. My rapidly expanding practice allowed me to work closely with orthopaedic surgeons and to attend many surgical procedures.

In 1989 I completed my training in the St. John method of Neuromuscular Therapy and was asked by the physicians of the center to complete my training to give medical injection as a physician's assistant. I did this because the physicians had a hard time accurately injecting trigger points due to lack of fine palpatory skills, which often take years to develop. After giving hundreds of injections, I found that dry needling, or needling trigger points with a 30-gauge acupuncture needle worked just as well and was less traumatic to the patients. The physicians were happy to allow me to further develop my skills in this area.

All the while I was being referred many very challenging patients, patients that had often failed with traditional approaches, I was finding that a key reason for the results I was able to obtain stemmed from applying strength training exercises as a mandatory part of my therapeutic regimen, something I had learned the value of as an athlete and as trainer of the Army Boxing Team.

While the doctors and physical therapists I worked closely with could not dispute the results I was able to achieve with their patients (and many of them), my approach went completely against the grain of their training. For example, on more occasions than I can count, I found myself in a heated debate with a doctor or a physical therapist over the fact that I was teaching people with injuries (particularly back injuries) to perform squats, deadlifts and many other functional free-weight techniques. The doctors and physical therapists expressed great fear that I would hurt someone, yet these interrogations as to my methods almost always took place immediately after we had just visited the doctor for the regularly scheduled patient check-up, at which time the physician, physical therapist and myself would all meet with the patient to discuss progress.

While the patients were most often elated at the progress they were making with my combinations of stretching, massage, joint mobilizations and exercises, the treating doctors and referring physical therapists seemed to loose all sense of logic in the presence of the fears that emanated from their medical training. It was their training that if you hurt your back squatting or bending, for example, that you must NOT do that movement any more to avoid injury!

Most of these interrogations of my approach, which began by my being told I could not use such methods anymore - ended with my pointing out that the patient was referred to me as a last chance approach before their insurance ran out or before the doctor was to attempt another surgery, and that in as little as four weeks on my program, most had made more progress than they had in all previous attempts at rehabilitation!

As medical professionals trained in an academic environment that touted scientific principles, they routinely challenged me to prove beyond the subjective comments of my patients that my methods worked. It was under these pressures, and my own interest to validate the selective prescription of exercises as therapeutic modalities that I began an intensive search for and application of goniometric (calibrated) measurement technologies.
Under pressure to "prove" that my approach worked, I invented calibrated tools for measuring such things as forward head posture, the angle of the first rib (informs about shoulder position and breathing mechanics) pelvic tilt, and applied standard physical therapy goniometry to assess the range of motion of the musculoskeletal system.

After collecting data for two years, I began to see a trend developing - the more crunches and sit-ups athletes did, particularly in absence of exercises for the extensor muscles (pulling exercises) the more out of alignment their bodies became. Using my measurements, I could both better select exercises and could prove that my approach worked. This really attracted the attention of the doctors and physical therapists, who eventually suggested I start teaching these methods to physical therapists. Word of my approach spread and resulted in an invitation to contribute a chapter on "Posture and Craniofacial Pain" to a book directed toward non-surgical approaches to chronic head pain titled "Chiropractic Approach To Head Pain" by Williams and Wilkins, which was published in 1994.

My practice grew to be very large, so large in fact that I was producing 36 per cent of all the business in the largest physical therapy clinic in San Diego, which led me to leave and open my own clinic with a partner, Steve Clarke, MHS, PT, OCS, SCS. Steve was an expert at shoulder and knee injuries, while I had developed a reputation as the guy to see when your spine was not responding to conventional approaches. We ran our clinic successfully for three and a half years in La Jolla, California, before selling it because the insurance game was killing our practice ethics. During the nine years that had elapsed since leaving the Army, I had travelled worldwide, spending about half my annual income taking courses from the best doctors and therapists I could find. My style was to find the best, learn from them and immediately apply what I had learned upon returning to the clinic. My extensive assessment and record keeping allowed me to document what worked and what didn't.

After selling my physical therapy clinic and having a challenging time selling my concepts to the American machine-based exercise and rehabilitation world, I decided to travel internationally and share my methods. My first stop was Australia, followed by New Zealand. My seminars were well received and well attended, which was exciting for me. The world spread quickly, leading to many successive seminar tours in the South Pacific. It was in 1995 that I had decided to develop an internship program to teach my methods to those that wanted advanced training. I developed a four level training program that was designed to be completed in two to four years.
My program was very expensive and challenging, specifically designed to produce elite exercise and rehabilitation professionals and was modeled after my training as a paratrooper in the military.

Today, I have expanded these advanced training programs to cover many different areas and topics, and there are over 5000 trained through one or more of my programs spanning the South Pacific, USA, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Europe, South Africa and many other countries. I spend most of my time split between writing, teaching and one-on-one coaching.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well illustrated, detailed without being overly technical. Explanations are generally nice & clear. Goes into lots of detail on the basics of eating, digestion, and exercise. Contains little tests to check out various elements of your state of being such as metabolic type, flexibility, conditioning level, etcetera, then prescribes various program elements to fit your needs. Large colorful layout makes it seem less intimidating, less textbook-like.

I'm sure some will dislike it because it doesn't dig deeply enough into some topics. I like that he doesn't use ten pages to hammer a point when one will do. The result is that the text moves along, and you'll spend your time learning useful principles. Though it does have the most detailed and interesting chapter on, well, pooping (his word!), that I've ever seen. If you are squeamish about this subject, you won't be after you finish the chapter, complete with illustrative poop cartoons.

Chek is seen shirtless, looking quite buff in a number of photos. There are two issues I have with this: One is that, as other reviewers have noted, he did not get to looking like that via just the exercises in this book, putting in a couple of hours a week at the gym. The other is that he is at 8% body fat in the pics, and I seriously question the wisdom of advocating that as a healthy goal. 8% looks really cool, but some people feel that actually ends up being hard on the body (and the brain inside). I'd like to hear him speak to this.

The other very minor thing I dislike about it is the conspicuous presence of the CHEK Institute throughout the book.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book about diet, exercise and general health. If you want to make changes to your life but aren't sure where to start out, this is definitely the book for you. If you want a solid explanation why you should change, followed up with research, this book is for you. Mr. Chek has taken information about diet, exercise, and mental and physical health from many different sources, including his own personal experiences, and compiled it into this book. The book is easy to read and is also an excellent starting point for anyone interested in improving his or her quality of life.

The book covers such a wide variety of topics and everyone will be able to learn something from this book. But in covering so many topics, there is a lack of depth in some areas. Fortunately Mr. Chek sites many references throughout the book, allowing you to dig deeper if they choose.

Paul is a big advocate of getting back to the basics. He uses examples of primal man and activities primal man engaged in through out his book. If primal man survived moving and eating a certain way, we should adopt those patterns to our own life. I personally agree with this way of thinking, I'm sure some others will not.

The sections on training programs are excellent; my only gripe is the advanced program. Mr. Chek definitely practices what he preaches, but I doubt he got to where he is doing the advanced program presented in this book. I remember seeing pictures of Paul doing a one-arm push up on a Bosu and another of him doing a sit up on a Swiss ball with a 100+ pound dumbbell across his chest. Those sorts of very high level exercises are absent.

I'm nit picking with this, so Ill digress.

I personally enjoyed the book and have recommended it to many of my friends.
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Let me first say that much of the information is definitely contained elsewhere, and much of it I felt I already "knew". The author though presents the information in a logically consistent holistic view of one's health; and thereby chances the paradigm by which we view our bodies.

It has inspired me to change my food intake and my lifestyle - and that highlights the true value of the book. It doesn't just contain information, but presents it in a manner in which I could process and internalize it.

I heartily recommend this book.
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By A Customer on June 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an absolute must to have for everyone serious about making a complete lifestyle change towards better health. The information and references provided about nutrition, metabolic typing diets, circadian rhythms and hormonal responses, parasitic stress on digestion, and parasympathetic-sympathetic balancing of the autonoimic nervous system is outstanding. The only thing that held me back from giving this book five stars is the exercise selection. I understand for the beginner less is better, but I feel advanced level people will not use the recommended performance training routines exclusively due to the over emphasis of light resistance, single leg support based movements, and minimal exercise variety.
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Overall this book is very interesting and educational. It is very detailed and explains how to achieve great overall health such as eating the right foods, exercise, lower your stress, etc.

However, it is overwhelming to me as there are many exercises for different purposes. I have to concentrate to sort out which ones to perform to individualize it. I am more of a class or DVD type of exerciser so that may explain why I feel overwhelmed by it. His DVD "Better Abs, Buns, and Back" is very good and uses a Swiss Ball. You can find it on the CHEK Institute website.

This book, as well as many others I have read, lack in practical recipes for busy families. I wish there would have been some easy, healthy recipes, or at least some resources referenced as far are websites or cookbooks. ( I find the healthy foods as necessary but eating boiled chicken breasts and salads get old fast. Also where we live we do not have access to all the items listed especially fresh organic produce.)
I believe the book kind of leaves you hanging as far as how to take the recommended foods for your metabolic type and turn them into meals for the family.

I don't typically purchase many books but this one is worth buying if you can't find it at your local library. It may just take a little time to sort out what fits for you and what your goals are. You can even take it a step further and see a CHEK practitioner in your area to help meet your health and fitness goals.

I also recommend books by Dr. Joseph Mercola, but check out your local library first.
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