The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer by Gretchen Reynolds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The bottom line after reading this well-researched work is that if you want to live long and well, you'd better get moving.
Many of the current diet-type books emphasize the importance of balancing macronutrients for weight management, and I've found that to be true as a whole; I'm hungrier when I'm working out and tend to not lose much if any weight. But the caveat is that much, much more is happening at the cellular level.
At its core, this is an annotated literature review in which the author discusses the results of hundreds of studies and their implications and implementation for public use. Some of the results are not surprising (sedentary rats get fat) and others are eyebrow-raising (you sit, your telomeres shrink and your mitochondria die) -- if you have a body and are older than 18, there is important, behavior-changing information in here. I found it interesting how many scientists reported to Reynolds that after parsing the data, they and all their lab assistants became adherents to an exercise program.
Reynolds' work as a New York Times journalist shows in her ability to take rather dry information and present it in a lively, conversational tone, so it reads quickly and doesn't get dull. It's certainly worthwhile if you're looking to self-motivate for the new year-- or anytime.
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