Saturday, September 2, 2017

Book Review: 'The First 20 Minutes' by Gretchen Reynolds


"Now in my prosperity I said, 'I shall never be moved.'" -- Psalm 30:6 (NKJV)

The message of this book is, "Keep moving." When you sit still, it's bad for you. So if you are in a chair, twitch and move around as you sit.

I was pleased to see that Ms. Reynolds aimed her book at a wide audience, from those who want to be more competitive in highly difficult activities to those who are elderly and are losing more strength than they can afford. I think you'll find yourself in here somewhere.

The book leans initially on exploding many myths about exercise such as stretching avoids injuries (not!) and improves performance (also, not!). In a few instances, there's almost a gimmicky focus to make the book seem more novel than it really is, such as identifying types of extreme, brief exercise that can effectively replace longer duration activity.

While not knowing what I would learn, I definitely came away some valuable insights for someone of my years and flabbiness. I was persuaded that resistance training should be added to my exercise repertoire and that I don't need to walk any further than I do now. And I'll be squirming a lot more while I type and read. I always did like to hop up every few minutes. I'll probably do that more often in the future.

P.S. As someone who was a competitive athlete in my youth, I learned many of these things from trial and error then. I'm sure you won't be as surprised as the author thinks you will be in places.



Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Donald Mitchell. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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