What Doesn't Kill Us by Scott Carney
How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength

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The accomplishments Carney documents are unbelievable and fascinating; this isn’t a how-to for those looking to perform extraordinary feats, but it is an entertaining account that will appeal to the adventurous.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

What Doesn't Kill Us traces our evolutionary journey back to a time when survival depended on how well we adapted to the environment around us. Our ancestors crossed the Alps in animal skins and colonized the New World in loin cloths. They evaded predators and built civilizations with just their raw brainpower and inner grit. But things have changed and now comfort is king. Today we live in the thrall of constant climate control and exercise only when our office schedules permit. The technologies that we use to make us comfortable are so all encompassing that they sever the biological link to a changing environment. Now we hate the cold and the heat. We suffer from autoimmune diseases. And many of us are chronically overweight. Most of us don't even realize that natural variation--sweating and shivering--is actually good for us.


What Doesn't Kill Us uncovers how just about anyone can reclaim a measure of our species' evolutionary strength by tapping into the things that feel uncomfortable. When we slightly reimagine how how our body fits into the world and then we can conditioning ourselves to find resilience in unfamiliar environments.


The feeling that something is missing from our daily routines is growing and has spawned a movement. Every year, millions of people forgo traditional gyms and push the limits of human endurance by doing boot camp style workouts in raw conditions. These extreme athletes train in CrossFit boxes, compete in Tough Mudders and challenge themselves in Spartan races. They are connecting with their environment and, whether they realize it or not, are changing their bodies.

No one exemplifies this better than Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof, whose remarkable ability to control his body temperature in extreme cold has sparked a whirlwind of scientific study. Because of him, scientists in the United States and Europe are just beginning to understand how cold adaptation might help combat autoimmune diseases and chronic pains and, in some cases, even reverse diabetes.

Award winning investigative journalist, Scott Carney dives into the fundamental philosophy at the root of this movement in three interlocking narratives. His own journey culminates in a record bending, 28-hour, climb up to the snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but a pair of running shorts and sneakers.
 

About Scott Carney

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Scott Carney is an investigative journalist with a decade of experience living and researching in India. He is a contributing editor at Wired magazine. His reporting has also appeared on NPR, CBC, BBC, and National Geographic TV, and in Mother Jones, Fast Company, Discover, and Foreign Policy. He lives in Long Beach, California.
 
Published January 3, 2017 by Rodale. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for What Doesn't Kill Us
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 05 2016

Couch potatoes take warning: the experiences described in this testimonial are often tough to read about, and the conclusions, while sometimes convincing, might best be taken with a touch of skepticism.

Read Full Review of What Doesn't Kill Us: How Fre... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jun 23 2017

The accomplishments Carney documents are unbelievable and fascinating; this isn’t a how-to for those looking to perform extraordinary feats, but it is an entertaining account that will appeal to the adventurous.

Read Full Review of What Doesn't Kill Us: How Fre... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

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90%

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