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Ultimate Fitness: The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise

Ultimate Fitness: The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise

Written by Gina Kolata

Narrated by Gina Kolata


Ultimate Fitness: The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise

Written by Gina Kolata

Narrated by Gina Kolata

ratings:
4/5 (15 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 1, 2003
ISBN:
9781593971618
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Gina Kolata, science reporter to The New York Times, takes a fascinating journey into the fads, fictions and genuine innovations that have defined the world of physical fitness.
By examining fads through the decades, from weight lifting for men and women in the early days, to jogging, cycling, aerobics, and now spinning, Kolata explains the science of conditioning and the objective evidence behind commonly accepted prescriptions.

Among the questions she addresses are:

  • What is the best way to exercise for maximum effect?
  • Is there really a "fat-burning zone"?
  • Why is that some people won't become fit in spite of exercise?
  • Are there foods, drinks or supplements that can help you exercise longer or harder?

Kolata profiles researchers who successfully challenged conventional wisdom and marketed their inventions, and some who resisted initial criticism only to back down from their claims. With lively sketches of many of the mavericks who have influenced the industry, Kolata presents an eye-opening view of the inside workings of a multimillion-dollar business.

Lively and engaging, Ultimate Fitness spotlights the machines and machinations and cuts through the marketing hype, not only to assess what is healthy, but also to understand what our obsession with staying healthy says about American culture today.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Publisher:
Released:
May 1, 2003
ISBN:
9781593971618
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Gina Kolata is a science reporter for The New York Times and is the author of Flu (FSG). She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.


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Reviews

What people think about Ultimate Fitness

4.1
15 ratings / 9 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Written in 2003 by the science reporter of the New York Times, this is a great survey of the subject. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of fitnes, from the state of the science to the state of the industry. The chapters that bring in the author's personal story are well done. She describes her focus on spinning and trainers in that area.

    The things that I want to remember from this book is that A) to be fit does not take much activity - only about 20 minutes a day of light movement. B) To change my looks or my performance will take intensity. I want to focus my intensity on both my strength training and dance. C) It is often a surprise to people that they enjoy intense physical effort and it may take some time to find the activities that one person may enjoy. As Gretchen Rubin points out "What makes you happy may not make me happy. What makes me happy may not make you happy." It took me many years to find how much dancing makes me feel happy.
  • (5/5)
    Very informative and insightful. This book gave me a whole new perspective on exercise.
  • (4/5)
    Fat burning zone, target heart rate, spot reducing, runner’s high, and supplements--these are just a handful of the topics New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata tackles in her book Ultimate Fitness: The Quest for Truth About Exercise and Health. Using her analytical research skills, Kolata sets the record straight about some of the most common exercise myths and searches for the truth about how to get fit and healthy. This book also covers the history and evolution of fitness and body-building. Whether you are a fitness guru or novice, Ultimate Fitness will have you reevaluating your notions of fitness.
  • (3/5)
    lots of interesting facts and discussions.
  • (4/5)
    In Ultimate Fitness, Gina Lolata examines the various "truthes" about exercise by taking the reading on a journey through exercise in modern times, as well as intermingling her own avid love of spinning, the exercise bike experience on steroids. Kolata looks at theories of training regimes, the myth (?) of the maximum heart rate, body building, and even the concept of the "runner's high." Like her later book, Rethinking Thin, Kolata ultimately rejects the "one size fits all" notion of exercise: the idea that every body, trained the same way, will react in the same way. I agree with others who have complained that the book drags a bit in the middle, which concentrates on her preparation for a super-spinning event called Mount Everest. It feels less like a researched expose of fitness and more like an extended magazine article, but it's still an entertaining read of you speed through the spinning.
  • (4/5)
    Kolata surveys the science that underlies many fitness myths (e.g., the 'max heart rate formula' that hangs on the wall in so many gymns).
  • (4/5)
    In this book Gina Kolata takes an honest look at popular thinking about health and exercise. Some of the questions that are examined: How much exercise is required to obtain health benefits? Is there really a heart rate zone beneficial for burning fat? Is there a runner's high and what might possibly cause it?. In answering these questions, she looks for and presents respected research. Or if respected research is lacking, she presents that as well. At times this book is sobering as it excises many cherished exercise myths. Gina also takes us into the training regimes of world class athletes, and reveals what the fitness business is like. The backdrop from which this story is told, is Gina's personal relationship with exercise. The only negative I'll say about this book, is occasionally, in order to support a point, the book gets bogged down in reiteration. After reading this book I'll certainly look upon health claims, and exercise modalities, with a more critical eye.
  • (4/5)
    I found this to be a surprisingly compelling book. I thought the first-person bit would put me off, but instead it just kept leading me on, since I found it very easy to make the connection between her own activities and the reporting she was doing. Learned a lot about fitness, most surprisingly how little science is behind many of the beliefs that are often repeated by fitness "experts".
  • (3/5)
    An odd book. Some interesting sequences, espcially the chapters on the runners' high and the history of weight training. The author's own obsession with working out is a mixed blessing at best, though, and it makes for an authorial voice that will put off anyone who's not into fitness.