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The First 20 Minutes

Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longe r

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The New York Times bestseller that explains how groundbreaking scientific discoveries can help each of us achieve our personal best
Every week, Gretchen Reynolds single-handedly influences how millions of Americans work out. In her popular New York Times column, she debunks myths, spurs conversation, and stirs controversy by questioning widely held beliefs about exercise.

Here, Reynolds consults experts in a range of fields to share paradigm-shifting findings that were previously only available in academic and medical journals, including: 

·        20 minutes of cardio is all you need (and sometimes six minutes is enough)

·        Stretching before a workout is counterproductive

·        Chocolate milk is better than Gatorade for recovery

Whether you’re running ultramarathons or just want to climb the stairs without losing your breath, The First 20 Minutes will show you how to be healthy today and perform better tomorrow.

From Publishers Weekly

May 07, 2012 – Gretchen Reynolds writes the Phys Ed column in the New York Times, and her book is an informative and entertaining review of current science about exercise and fitness, with good, commonsense recommendations that cut through confusing, often conflicting research on the subject. The author pulls no punches with good humor she zeroes in and proves that almost everything we think we know about exercise is wrong. A very rational and readable volume, it is first and foremost a user s manual that also explains that much of what we have been advised to do is inappropriate and possibly dangerous, especially since we must exercise to achieve a healthy, lifestyle disease beating, aging-retarding regimen. Dispelling myths and deconstructing commonly held but inaccurate beliefs on almost every page, Reynolds reveals, for example, why stretching is bad, but warming up before working out is good; why it s better to drink (only water) before and after exercise, not during; that a normal, healthy diet, not training food is all we need; why it s harder for women than men to lose weight and keep it off; and why ibuprofen actually blunts exercise. Armed with the information in this book, readers will be inspired and motivated to reassess their habitual exercise programs and make positive changes.

Customer Reviews

Finally, reliable fitness information!

You can find endless opinions about fitness, from warming up to post-workout nutrition to proper footwear. But how much of it is backed up by research, or any evidence?

This book not only offers evidence for its fitness advice, but it reaches conclusions that contradict just about everything you learned in gym class or on the track team. I'm sure some people disagree with Ms. Reynolds' conclusions, and by all means read what they have to say. But look for their evidence, and see how it stacks up against the cites in this book.

Excellent book!

This book definitely opened my eyes to the amount of inactivity during my typical day and how deleterious it can be to my overall health. I will also pay attention to how my body seems to react to different types of exercise to determine what activities will give me the most 'bang for my buck'.


If this book doesn't give you the motivation to move then you really must not have a desire to live a quality life.

The First 20 Minutes
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Health & Fitness
  • Published: Apr 26, 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings