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Download The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer Audiobook, by Gretchen Reynolds Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.45 out of 53.45 out of 53.45 out of 53.45 out of 53.45 out of 5 3.45 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gretchen Reynolds Narrator: Karen Saltus Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9781469000787
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Every Wednesday, Gretchen Reynolds single-handedly influences how millions of Americans work out. In her Phys Ed column for the New York Times, she debunks myths, spurs conversation, and creates arguments among her readers by questioning widely held beliefs about exercise.

Expanding upon her popular columns, Reynolds tackles the questions we all have and (sometimes) ask about exercise. Consulting experts in physiology, biology, psychology, neurology, and sports, she uncovers how often we should exercise, how long workouts should be, how to avoid injury, and how to find the right form, routine and equipment for our goals.

She also reveals some surprising answers, such as:

  • Twenty minutes of cardio at a time is enough to obtain maximum health benefits, and in some cases, just six minutes is all you need.
  • Stretching before a workout is counterproductive. It’s better to just start easy, i.e., walk before you run.
  • Core strength is nice but not necessary. A six-pack looks great but actually has little bearing on performance.
  • Walking improves your memory; housecleaning improves your mood. The brain is like a muscle; it likes to exercise.
  • Chocolate milk is better than Gatorade for recovery. Providing the best sports nutrition is often the simplest.

Drawing on scientific expertise as well as her own athletic experiences, Gretchen will help you find the right workout for your body, age, fitness, and goals. Whether your desire is to be fit for the rest of your life, to look great in a smaller dress size, or to run your third marathon in Boston, The First 20 Minutes will make your workouts work for you.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • [This audiobook] delivers answers to many perennial training questions [and] does a great job of myth-busting some well-established beliefs. It's a great guide for the mindful athlete who wants to gain all the benefits of physical training while minimizing downtime from injury or over-training. Danny Dreyer, Founder of Chi Running and co-author of Chi Running, Chi Walking, and Chi Marathon
  • There has never been a better time in history to grow stronger, faster, and smarter; there has never been a more helpful book than Gretchen Reynolds's The First 20 Minutes. Smart, clear, and beautifully useful, this is the new fitness Bible for the modern age. Dan Coyle, author of The Talent Code and Lance Armstrong's War
  • The First 20 Minutes is packed with interesting tips and insights. Pickle juice for cramps, who would have ever thought! Gretchen Reynolds once again delivers a winner. Dean Karnazes, Uber Athlete and New York Times Bestselling Author of UltraMarathon Man

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah | 1/31/2014

    " This is a fantastic book! Reynolds summarizes the latest and greatest in exercise science in a technical (but readable) way. She not only provides the research, but she also puts that research into real, practical terms for the average person. The best part? She puts the worst news in the beginning of the book...and the best news at the end. Bonus: every chapter distills the discussion into implementable recommendations. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 B | 1/28/2014

    " This would be a great book for scientists who are serious runners. I wanted some solid, quick info about improving my daily workout. What I got was a lot of detailed studies on one issue or another followed immediately by another detailed study that contradicted the first study. My take away? Trust your body. Can do. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sundry | 1/28/2014

    " I liked this a lot. It really made me feel like it makes sense to get up and move more during the day, to take short walks more often, etc. I'm taking a music stand to work so I can stand while I read scripts, which is a big part of my job. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vhalros | 1/28/2014

    " If you need some motivation to get some exercise, any exercise at all, this is the book for you. The thesis is basically that going from sedentary to exercising merely twenty minutes a day offers an enormous health benefit, with more incremental benefits from additional exercise. That some exercise is better than none is mostly likely true, and has been basically proven to death. However, the book suffers greatly from the same flaws as Reynolds' columns (and pretty much most other "health & fitness columns in news papers and magazines); unjustified generalizations from study results conducted under specific circumstances. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 1/26/2014

    " Great book on exercise that was surprisingly very readable for someone who is pretty much a lightweight when it comes to exercise. I'm inspired to do much better and I appreciate all the bad info she corrected. Agree with other reviewers on the need for a bibliography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly | 1/3/2014

    " There is very little fluff or filler here - Gretchen Reynolds chronicles every exercise-related health story I've read in the last five years and then some. The book is especially interesting for runners. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/3/2014

    " NPR rec "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda Pobocik | 1/3/2014

    " Good information. It took me a long time to read as there was a lot of technical information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sanae Yabe | 12/7/2013

    " Interesting read. Some common practice of warm-ups, supplements, and post exercise treatments might do worse than good. After all balance is always the key in life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kimberlee | 12/1/2013

    " I always read this journalist's column and was excited to read her book, only to find that - well - it reads like a bunch of her columns bundled into a book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ayelet Waldman | 11/21/2013

    " I'm a desperate hypochondriac so I love reading zippy exercise books like this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rene Saller | 10/6/2013

    " Very interesting and accessible, although I do think it was a bit too heavy on the murine studies. Also, her jokes are a little lame. But it sure made me more motivated than ever to sit less and move more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 BLACK CAT | 6/7/2013

    " Collection of experiments and their results in the area of sports and fitness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 12/8/2012

    " Great book on the science of exercise! Really fascinating and makes you think about your workout in a whole new way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 10/29/2012

    " Excellent book on the lastest studies regarding exercise and it's affect on the body. Well written and easily read, yet still scientific enough to give it some authority. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Regine Rossi | 9/4/2012

    " A fun read for nerds like me who are interested in some of the details of the research behind the exercise recommendations we all hear. Not overly technical and with more wit than you might expect from a "science book." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beverly | 8/10/2012

    " Interesting. Busts some commonly held myths. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 7/24/2012

    " Full of useful, surprising and practical information for virtually anyone from a couch potato to veteran marathoner. Offers a number of persuasive reasons why we should all exercise. Though sadly, being very well informed is not enough - you still have to get up and move! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Althea | 7/14/2012

    " I really just skimmed this book because it was written for someone much more dedicated to exercising than I am. However, I did learn that exercising, besides generally being good for you, also really helps keep your brain functioning better as you age. So, put on your sneakers and keep moving!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz DeCoster | 6/8/2012

    " A Malcolm Gladwell influenced approach to exercise science. Interesting at first, but wore thin pretty quickly. "

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About the Narrator

Karen Saltus has narrated television and radio commercials, audiobooks, textbooks, and multimedia film and voice applications. She began her career thirty years ago at a radio station in Maine and in 1994 became a full-time freelance voice-over artist.