Sunday, January 3, 2016

No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness

Amazon says:
Selected as the #1 book in diet/exercise for 2015 by USA Best Book Awards.
We start out with the best intentions. We're going to exercise more and get in shape! Then five days a week at the gym turns into two... then becomes none. We hit the snooze button and skip the morning run.
We really do want to be healthy and fit, but we're over whelmed and overextended—and exercise feels like another chore to complete. Is it any wonder we don't stick with it?
Behavior expert Michelle Segar has devoted her career to the science of motivation. In No Sweat, she reveals that while "better health" or "weight loss" sound like strong incentives, human beings are hardwired to choose immediate gratification over delayed benefits. In other words, we're not going to exercise unless it makes us happy right now.
So what's the solution? To achieve lasting fitness, we have to change our minds—before we can change our bodies. In No Sweat, Segar shows us how. Translating twenty years of research on exercise and motivation into a simple four-point program, she helps readers broaden their definition of exercise, find pleasure in physical activity, and discover realistic ways to fit it into their lives. Activities we enjoy, we repeat—making this evidence-based system more sustainable in the long run than a regimen of intense workouts. Even if we don't sweat, we really benefit.
The success of the clients Segar has coached testifies to the power of her program. Their stories punctuate the book, entertaining and emboldening readers to break the cycle of exercise failure once and for all. Getting in shape has never been so easy—or so much fun. 

My Thoughts:
  While the many conclusions of this book seem rather intuitive and maybe even obvious, I did enjoy the emphasis on Meaning and Permission when it comes to fitness and self-care. Segar emphasizes low-impact, informal, and joyful movement in small increments for a lifetime-arguing that it still adds up to more than a few weeks of high-intensity followed by a lifetime of inactivity, burnout, and guilt. Which is probably true, and I'm sure resonates with most people. I'm the asshole who likes high-intensity, highly structured workouts so this didn't really appeal to me and I admit it made me realize a silly bias....because that just didn't seem like "real exercise." This type of misconception or socialized expectation of what exercise should look like is a large part of Segar's discussion on basically overthrowing our societal and personal paradigms of what constitutes "real" fitness and what we "should" be doing versus what would bring us joy, fuel our lives, and improve our relationships with ourselves and others. I want to keep this review short (so I can keep up the habit of reviewing...definitely in line with Segar's philosphy!) but I did enjoy this bit of fitness motivation and do intend to incorporate her process into my own life!

Rating (Nonfiction): ***

No comments:

Post a Comment