The New York Times posted a book review entitled “The Shortcut to Better Health,” and an interview with the author. The book is called “The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer,’’ and is written by New York Times columnist Gretchen Reynolds.
While I haven’t read the book, it was refreshing to read this interview, where Gretchen Reynolds talks about the benefits of moving just a little bit more than we currently do. Our culture is so obsessed with appearances, it feels like we are bombarded with fad diets suggesting that we must try the next big thing to achieve the perfect body – one week it’s eating only grapefruits or drinking apple cider vinegar before a meal, and the next week it’s eating only bacon double cheeseburgers – without the bun, of course.
It was refreshing to read that the advice in this book calls for simply going for a twenty minute walk. The American obsession with weight loss, fueled by the unattainable images that we are bombarded with daily in the media and in Hollywood, have led people to follow some extreme measures to try and reach this ideal.
I think that the proliferation of these extreme diets and exercise programs have intimidated a lot of people, who think that they could never accomplish what is required in these regimens. It seems that many people feel that they will not be able to commit to the extreme requirements, so they think why do anything? This book appears to promote a sensible strategy for achieving fitness that any person can start today. In fact, this is a sensible fitness strategy that is so old, it is new again!
I am fortunate that I have a little four-legged friend who requires that I move, at least a little, every day. In fact, he is looking at me right now to ask when we are going for a walk. Now that is welcome pressure!
What do you think about this idea? Do you think that people avoid starting an exercise regimen because they feel that they will not follow through? Do you think that promoting the idea that a twenty minute walk can make a meaningful difference in a person’s health could encourage more people to move a little more? Do you think that this strategy is not enough to make a difference for people’s health?