Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, "I don't want to be a widow at forty-five," and ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as "a python that swallowed a goat," A.J. Read more...
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Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, "I don't want to be a widow at forty-five," and ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as "a python that swallowed a goat," A.J. Jacobs felt compelled to change his ways and get healthy. And he didn't want only to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far greater: maximal health from head to toe.
The task was epic. He consulted an army of experts-- sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He subjected himself to dozens of different workouts--from Strollercize classes to Finger Fitness sessions, from bouldering with cavemen to a treadmill desk. And he took in a cartload of diets: raw foods, veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing, and dozens more. He bought gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He poked and he pinched. He counted and he measured.
The story of his transformation is not only brilliantly entertaining, but it just may be the healthiest book ever written. It will make you laugh until your sides split and endorphins flood your bloodstream. It will alter the contours of your brain, imprinting you with better habits of hygiene and diet. It will move you emotionally and get you moving physically in surprising ways. And it will give you occasion to reflect on the body's many mysteries and the ultimate pursuit of health: a well-lived life.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-12-12
- Reviewer: Staff
With three bestselling titles in his One Man’s Humble Quest series, Jacobs decided to become “the healthiest man alive,” first consulting medical experts, making a list of outré diets, and putting himself in unusual situations. To try out the Paleo movement’s Caveman Workout, “which is all about being natural and savage and out in the wilderness,” he ran bare-chested through the wilderness of Central Park. He investigated the antiaerobic “slow fitness movement” that requires exercising only 20 minutes a week. With a 70-page to-do list, he tried everything from acupuncture to Nature’s Platform, a metal stand for squatting on top of a toilet since “there’s bona fide evidence squatting is better for you.” Each body part gets its own chapter; in “The Gonads” he recalls a urologist who told him, “When I do a prostate exam, it’s easy. I use one finger. Maybe two if I want a second opinion.” Jacobs achieves an instant intimacy with the reader, making his family life as much a part of the narrative as his many meetings with medical theorists and health gurus. He’s a clever humorist who successfully takes his readers on a round trip from reality to absurdity, dispensing solid, valuable health information along with fascinating oddities. (Apr. 10)