OVERRIDE

Ultimate Fitness

The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise

Gina Kolata

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The bestselling science reporter for The New York Times tells us what works and what doesn’t when we work out

Ultimate Fitness: The Quest for Truth About Exercise and Health is Gina Kolata’s compelling journey into the world of American physical fitness over the past thirty years. It is a funny, eye-opening, brow-sweating investigation into the fads, fictions, and science of fitness training.

From the early days of jogging, championed by Jim Fixx— who later died of a heart attack—to weight lifting, cycling, aerobics, and Spinning, Kolata questions such popular notions as the “fat-burning zone” and “spot reducing,” the effects of food on performance, how much exercise helps build fitness, and the difference between exercise to help the heart and exercise to change the body. She explains the science of physical fitness and the objective evidence behind commonly accepted prescriptions. Along the way she profiles researchers and mavericks who have challenged conventional wisdom, marketed their inventions, and sometimes bucked criticism only to back down from their original claims.

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

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Ultimate Fitness
oneLESS IS MORE, OR IS IT? 
 
My friend Cynthia, just back from a week in Italy, calls me, wanting to know if I can go for a walk. She needs one, she says. She spent the day before cooped up in an airplane for endless hours and she has to have her exercise.I am at her house in five minutes, wearing my running shorts and a T-shirt, ringing her bell, waiting while she drinks a glass of water and searches for her sneakers and puts on some sunblock. We set out, on our usual mile-and-a-half-long path. We stroll down the small hill to the end of the street, turn right,
READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Gina Kolata

  • Gina Kolata is a science reporter for The New York Times and is the author of, most recently, Flu. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
  • Gina Kolata Andrew Brucker
    Gina Kolata
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

Ultimate Fitness

The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise

Gina Kolata

BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

BACK