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THE FIRST 20 MINUTES by Gretchen Reynolds


The Myth-Busting Science that Shows How We Can Walk Farther, Run Faster, and Live Longer

by Gretchen Reynolds

Pub Date: April 26th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59463-093-4
Publisher: Hudson Street/Penguin

A fitness columnist for the New York Times dispenses documented exercise science for a healthier life.

In this healthful refresher course, Reynolds acknowledges the ubiquity of redundant and contradictory fitness material available to those seeking advice. In an effort to condense and clarify, she begins with expected wisdom, offering unsurprising declarations on the serious health consequences for those Americans who lead a sedentary lifestyle. These consequences are preventable, however, and Reynolds presents some surprising ways to change things up. She’s at her strongest (and most intriguing) in chapters debunking and devaluing some much-touted rituals like massage therapy, extended workouts, warm-up routines, carb-loading, water intake, fat burning, weight loss and nutritional supplements. Imparting advice supported by physicians, academics, group control studies and scientific research, Reynolds gives the type of practical information can be useful for both seasoned gym-goers and those just beginning to equate exercise with disease prevention and longevity. The author’s confident narrative demeanor is a good fit for the delivery of her material as it breathes new life into the well-worn fundamentals of core fitness training, injury prevention, wholesome dieting and how exercise can promote graceful aging. She concludes each chapter with condensed, bottom-line specifics that will prove immensely helpful to readers short on time and attention. Whether directed at a marathoner or a once-a-week sprinter, Reynolds’ important message rings true: “The body wants to move,” she writes. “Go with it.”

Solid advice with motivational oomph to get you up and running.