Ultimate Fitness by Gina Kolata
The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Gina Kolata

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Gina Kolata is a senior writer at the New York Times, where she reports on science and medicine; a bestselling author; a frequent lecturer; and a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. She has written several books, including Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss-and the Myths and Realities of Dieting (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which was a finalist for the Quill book awards, and the national bestseller Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Paul Hoffman is the host of the PBS television series Great Minds of Science and the president and CEO of Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, as well as the author of several books including King's Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game (Hyperion) and the international bestseller The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth (Hyperion). He was the editor in chief of Discover for 10 years as well as president and publisher of Encyclopedia Britannica, and is a puzzlemaster (under the pseudonym Dr. Crypton) and a class-A level chess player.
 
Published April 1, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 317 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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When her daughter decides to become certified by the American Council of Exercise as a personal trainer, Kolata gets an inside view of the exercise industry and concludes that for the most part certification is a business involving little training but lots of fee payments.

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Publishers Weekly

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Everyone knows that exercise is a good thing. But when New York Times science reporter Kolata (Flu) set out to investigate the

Mar 31 2003 | Read Full Review of Ultimate Fitness: The Quest f...

Publishers Weekly

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The "truth" about exercise, Kolata concludes, may lie in the view of psychopharmacologist Richard Friedman, who suggests that "exercise is more often a marker of health than its cause."

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The Best Reviews

New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata provides an insightful look at the mythos of exercise.

May 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Ultimate Fitness: The Quest f...

The Best Reviews

Exercise- many an enthusiast is well aware of its addictiveness.

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