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.
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