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How to Think About Exercise (School of Life)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 12 February 2014
We are bombarded by health, nutrition and exercise in the media, what we should do and how to do it. Damon Young's approach to exercise begins with philosophical viewpoints. They emphasise the concept of 'Dualism', the split between mind and body. Plato's idea was the mind as 'his true self', whilst Nietzsche exclaimed 'Body I am entirely and nothing more'. Please do not be put off by these names. They are examples for the purpose of the book. Where does this relate to exercise? It goes on to describe the basic approaches to working out and the pitfalls, attractions, motives, and achievements. Action, desire, thought and will power are fundamental. I have always believed the hardest part of exercise is actually putting your training kit on. This action cannot be achieved without the later three motives.

Damon Young uses a philosophical background to explain the reasons why we try to improve our health, physical appearance and all of the feel-good factors and why we may quit. It is full of useful advice that may be sourced elsewhere, but this novel historical approach, however stimulating, may provide the added drive to understand what our personal goals are and why. Exercise, psychology and medicine are interrelated in that isolation of one problem is undoubtedly related to another, often unconsidered. The achievements of successful supreme sports athletes, their preparation, backup support, the look on their faces when they compete. This is mind and body, dualism becoming united. On a recreational, realistic approach, is it so difficult to pull on your training gear and set aside time? Maybe. The key points for me are how much do you want it, motivation and dedication and this book provides an interesting, useful and hopefully productive read and outcome. The conclusion, I interpret, is that mind and body have to be together. Dualism is for the philosophers. Realism is for the reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2014
A very good read that is profound without taking itself too seriously. There is comment on all the main forms of everyday health related exercise, including walking, weightlifting, running, swimming and yoga. A common theme is oneness, uniting mind and body with neither dominating the other. Recommended for doers and thinkers alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2014
Quite simply life and exercise affirming. Reading it a second time just to mark out the passages I want to take on the squash court with me. I have read two of the other 'How to....' books and this is easily the most holistic and helpful one of the lot; thank you Mr Young....couldn't recommend it highly enough
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2014
I'm always trying to start new exercise regimes and failing, but this philosophical investigation into exercise really highlights where I've been going wrong all this time. Revealing the various links between strong bodies and strong minds, this fascinating book explores how exercise can be of benefit to every aspect of life. Whether you choose to improve your reflection skills with long walks, like Darwin, or achieve yogic 'oneness', this book shows how to exercise for the pleasure in the act itself and to improve your mind as well as your body, rather than just considering the calories burnt. Well worth a read for anyone interested in exercise - or in the link between the mind and body.
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on 6 March 2015
"We are not defined by our mind or our body, but by their intimate congress".

"Meditation, in other words, is like an unpicker in sewing: it allows us to change the shape of our attitudes, by taking life apart at the seams".

These are just two of the choice quotes I enjoyed from this little gem. A bright and stimulating take on exercise and how to approach and embrace it from a more beneficial mindset in order to make it work better for you.
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on 22 May 2014
Great book that I have no hesitation in recommending really put a different perspective on not only exercise but life.
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on 2 August 2014
Very informative and simply written; gets message across well;actually got me motivated to exercise , unlike other articles I have read on same subject !
Definitely recommended if you can't get motivated.
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on 20 November 2014
Very enjoyable, just what I needed, easy to read, funny and motivating. Great companion in cultivating sports spirits for geeky audience.
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on 1 January 2015
Great book, not easy read but it gives food for thought and make you exercise.
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on 5 September 2014
love the series
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