Must Reads for the Fitness Minded

Dec 8, 2017 | Lifestyle

A collection of books for the fitness-minded

New Year, new you, new goals. And what better way to boost your motivation and commitment than with the words of a scribe far wiser than you on a specific topic? Whether you want to learn to cook more nutritious (and easy) meals, build strength in the gym, to live a stress-free and happy life, there’s a book out there for you. We compiled a list of our favorites that would be great holiday gifts for that fitness-minded person in your life.

Have you wondered why some 60-year-olds look and feel like 40-year-olds and why some 40-year-olds look and feel like 60-year-olds? … “The Telomere Effect” reveals how [Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel’s] findings, together with research from colleagues around the world, cumulatively show that sleep quality, exercise, aspects of diet, and even certain chemicals profoundly affect our telomeres and that chronic stress, negative thoughts, strained relationships, and even the wrong neighborhoods can eat away at them. … It is the first book to explain how we age at a cellular level and how we can make simple changes to keep our chromosomes and cells healthy, allowing us to stay disease-free longer and live more vital and meaningful lives.


This is not just a book about running. It’s a book about cupcakes. It’s a book about suffering. It’s a book about gluttony, vanity, bliss, electrical storms, ranch dressing, and Godzilla. It’s a book about all the terrible and wonderful reasons we wake up each day and propel our bodies through rain, shine, heaven, and hell. From #1 New York Times best-selling author, Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal, comes this hilarious, beautiful, poignant collection of comics and stories about running, eating, and one cartoonist’s reasons for jogging across mountains until his toenails fall off.


A fast-growing global movement, No Meat Athlete (NMA) earns new fans every day by showing how everyone from weekend joggers to world-class competitors can become even healthier and fitter by eating whole plant foods. Written by NMA founder Matt Frazier and longtime health coach, yoga teacher, and food writer Stepfanie Romine, [“The NMA Cookbook”] showcases 125 delicious vegan recipes, many inspired by plant-based foods from around the world.


This undated, year-long workbook, training log, and how-to manual by professional runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas will help anyone push harder, find the sweet spot, and use sports to make life even better. “The Believe Training Journal” is packed with photographs, practical advice, inspiration, and the hard-earned secrets and street smarts that Fleshman and Ro have learned the hard way on the pro running circuit. It will guide you through your season, helping you set your goals, plan your training weeks, and record daily workouts … [to] reveal what’s working, keep you honest when no one’s looking, and prove when you’ve done the work.


Physician and biochemist Cate Shanahan, M.D. examined diets around the world known to help people live longer, healthier lives … and identified the four common nutritional habits, developed over millennia, that unfailingly produce strong, healthy, intelligent children, and active, vital elders, generation after generation. Rooted in her experience as an elite athlete who used traditional foods to cure her own debilitating injuries, and combining her research with the latest discoveries in the field of epigenetics, Dr. Cate shows how all calories are not created equal.


Sports Nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald has spent nearly 20 years studying the diets of top professional endurance athletes, who are among the fittest and healthiest people in the world. As a result, he has identified five core habits-most of which are contrary to what popular diets advise-that are essential to maximizing workout benefits. “The Endurance Diet” shares key strategies for optimal health and performance: eat everything, eat quality, eat carbohydrate, eat enough, and eat individually. Whether you want to lose weight, win a race, or look a little more like an elite athlete, this plan is for you.


Advice about food can be confusing. There’s usually only one thing experts can agree on: Some ingredients — often the most enjoyable ones — are bad for you, full stop. But as Aaron Carroll explains, these oversimplifications are both wrong and dangerous: If we stop consuming some of our most demonized ingredients altogether, it may actually hurt us. Full of counterintuitive lessons about food we hate to love, “The Bad Food Bible” is for anyone who wants to forge eating habits that are sensible, sustainable, and occasionally indulgent.


Does your lower back ache from sitting all day? Can you barely walk after your cycling class? Do you stretch your back and feel only more tension? Stretching is vital for chronic pain, building muscle tone, and full movement. “1,500 Stretches” has the complete collection of stretches, organized by body part – back, calf, hamstrings, chest, and many more. They are demonstrated in beautiful, full-color photographs. The steps are easy to follow and explain what muscle groups are targeted and its benefits for pain relief and physical appearance.

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