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The First 20 Minutes: The Surprising Science of How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter and Live Longer

The First 20 Minutes: The Surprising Science of How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter and Live Longer [Kindle Edition]

Gretchen Reynolds
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Brilliantly explained, painstakingly researched and rather fascinating. Whether you're a die-hard fitness fan or simply want to know where to start on the road to a healthier, happier life, this should be your new fitness bible.' -- Closer '[Reynolds'] can-do attitude gives a much-needed boost when it comes to throwing off the frowsty threads of winter and leaping into a cool and glamorous spring ... Her USP lies in showing readers how to employ physiology, biology and psychology to "train smarter, recover quicker and achieve your fitness goals."' -- The Lady 'Exercise books are as common as faulty Christmas lights, but there are few that will match this work.' -- Sunday Business Post 'Smart, clear, and beautifully useful, this is the new fitness bible for the modern age.' -- Dan Coyle, author of The Talent Code 'This is a science book, first and foremost ... you will learn about the current state of physiology, biology, psychology, and the neurology of couch potatoes and of athletes and everyone inbetween. What's cool is how much we now know, and how much we used to "know" was wrong. The big takeaway is that a little exercise is enormously better than none. And fidgeting is good.' -- John Goodreads 'Armed with the information in this book, readers will be inspired and motivated to reassess their habitual exercise programs and make positive changes.' Publisher's Weekly '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.' Kirkus Review

Product Description

Discover the amazing restorative powers of chocolate milk on tired muscles, how running can actually be good for your knees and how even just 20 minutes of regular exercise can transform your health and well-being.

Right now, modern science is revolutionizing the traditional workout. More is known about exercise, health and fitness than ever before, from how (and how much) we should be exercising, to the pros and cons of barefoot running and the effect music can have on a workout.

In The First Twenty Minutes New York Times columnist Gretchen Reynolds has turned the key findings of cutting-edge research into practical, user-friendly advice to help you improve the way you exercise.

Whether you are a sprinter or a marathon runner, whether your goal is weight loss or a faster 5k, this book provides evidence-based answers showing you how you can train more efficiently, recover more quickly and reap all the physical and mental benefits of an exercise regime specifically tailored to meet your individual needs.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1058 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (3 Jan 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,106 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exercising Your Body: Myths And Facts 9 Sep 2013
By Charles TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is about correcting many of the myths about exercise and giving people a understanding out how your body is meant to be used. There are far too many good points in this book for me to mention them all but here is some of my favorites.

Just 20 minutes of exercise a week can have a massive beneficial effect on your body.
It lowers you risk of dying prematurely from any cause by nearly 20 percent.

Interval training (intense bursts followed by rest followed by intense bursts) gives as good fitness results as longer less intense training. Just six minutes of interval training(not including rests between bursts) has proven to be as good as 300 minutes of less intense exercise.

Normal exercise is no good for weight loss as it just makes you hungry which results in you eating more food and regaining the weight. But interval training does not have this problem and it also helps keep the weight off as well.

Weight training can be as good for you as normal exercise.

Some athletes are obsessed with taking loads of vitamins, unfortunately tests show vitamins don't improve performance better than placebos.

Stretching is overrated and is not needed for many sports, static stretching reduces endurance as much as 30% and a study of runners found it does not reduce injury.

Warm ups probably help but make sure you don't over do it and tire yourself out before the main event!

Preventing soreness after exercise using cool downs does not actually seem to make any difference, neither does massage, cold baths or the vast majority of other things athletes do, in fact some make it worse. But the food you eat after exercise can help with recovery, chocolate milk is an excellent choice!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It moved me 18 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought this was an honest book, contradictory at times, but that I think is the state of the science. Gretchen Reynolds makes a good case for increasing the amount of light exercise we do. I believe what she says, that active people are less likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions. The striking point she makes is that although intense power, strength and endurance training has advantages in terms of athletic performance, it isn't necessarily going to stop us keeling over because of a heart attack. If we are otherwise sedentary, we are at risk. The key to health and longevity, is to be mobile: walk, stand, fidget even. The book has some ideas how office workers, taxi drivers, and couch potatoes might achieve this by standing on one leg using a toothbrush, walking while you talk on the 'phone, and squat jumping up the stairs instead of walking up them. Simply doing more vacuuming and gardening would help. It's motivated me to move more, and not take it for granted that a long run at the weekend is sufficient to undo the damage done by five days in a chair typing.
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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The new take on exercise. 4 April 2013
By Dr. Nicholas P. G. Davies TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good book on new evidence emerging from the study of exercise physiology and its impact on us as individuals, and on our collective (public, population) health. There are a lot of new perspectives emerging in this area, and this book summarises them well, and shows us the implications from them. These implications will and should change the way in which many of us approach working out and getting fit and staying fit. The author is not trained in medicine or science but that hardly matters here- she's interviewed so many good scientists working in this field, and read the relevant papers, so that this book is an excellent review of the cutting edge research in this area.

As far as health goes exercise is good for just about everything- you stay fitter, younger, stronger. Your brain works better. You stay insulin sensitive and you reduce your blood pressure and your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks and stroke) and death. You live fitter, longer, and with more capacity to function and greater equanimity. Your brain works better and your risk of developing dementia drops significantly. In short in terms of maintaining and developing your personal health and personal ability and function you need to exercise.

Reynolds describes well our relationship to exercise and how it has changed since our ancestors emerged. Basically as humans we are meant to walk a lot (about 8-20 miles) a day. We used to get this either as hunter gatherers, or in our working lives- the idea of "too little exercise" was just not an option for most of our forebears. In the twentieth and twenty first centuries our work is not naturally physically active
and we need to make a positive decision to be active.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have found this book fascinating. It challenges a lot of received wisdom about how to exercise effectively, what work and what doesn't, the impact of various types of exercise on health, longevity and how to prevent illness and injury.

Its an easy read and very enlightening. the only downside is the continuous temptation to bore friends and family and contradict them when they confidently make assertions about exercise that are wrong....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 14 days ago by Marian Stelmach
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect!
With the shelves full of fitness books and new training fads coming out almost daily this book is really helpful in dusting of old myths and putting some science behind the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by maschmail
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Some really interesting and good info. Made me rethink a lot of my training ideas.
Published 1 month ago by Mr Muso
1.0 out of 5 stars Never bought it!
I am quite certain I would never have bought this book so what can I say.
Published 1 month ago by crimetraveller
1.0 out of 5 stars No good
Did not enjoy this book at all, it did not do any good what so ever compared to the 5-2 diet.
Published 2 months ago by Peter and barbara
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful book.
It was a useful book with many interesting points about exercise and the physiology of the body and how you can employ it in your personal exercise.
Published 2 months ago by Bryan Thomas Ellams
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information book
Really good information will be revising my fitness Routine from now on All makes sense put into easy terms very interesting read
Published 3 months ago by linda keyford hallett
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Could not get into this book. It seemed to be poorly written in a complicated way. Daresay the facts are correct but I gave up.
Published 4 months ago by patricia oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars a runners must
This deserves a place on the virtual bookshelf of every runner. It's packed with great information and insight backed by research and examples. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Steven Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing
This book is brilliant: well-written, humorous, and informative. Gretchen Reynolds is evangelical about the need to move more, but offers really accessible information about how... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rachel
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