Posted by Matthew Pearson on 22nd Jul 2017
If you think that running is simple and not particularly deep in meaning, you haven’t read the new book Footnotes: How Running Makes Us Human . It is true that running a lot gives one lots of time to think, but the auther, Vybarr Cregan-Reid, has surpassed what most of us have conceived of regarding thinking about running. This is not a light-hearted how-to, but a serious 331 page consideration of the meaning of running.
Why do people like to run so much? The book theorizes that the activity is vital to our very identities as human beings. He calls on both hard science and literature to mix in with his extensive personal experiences running throughout the world to form an interesting thesis regarding human evolution. However, when he veers into poetry and discussions of the soul, it becomes somewhat strained. We know running feels good and that it probably relates to our evolution as physically active beings, but do we really need to say more?
Some people run to clear their heads and get away from their thoughts. This book tends to push the reader in the opposite direction, but it is unlikely to inspire the average reader to run more. Why do people put themselves through such pain to complete ultra-marathons? Apparently, if you have to ask, you aren’t really a runner.
Exercise principles are pretty simple, so you’d think there are only so many things you can do to improve your fitness. However, free enterprise always seems to come up with new ways to entice people to pay money for the latest thing. For those readers too young for this to be obvious, here are some examples that can teach [...]
It doesn’t require any special equipment or diet and doesn’t show you how to do anything you don’t already know how to do. Yet over 4 million members pay close to $4 billion in dues per year at over 13 thousand locations in over one hundred countries. Clearly, there is a continually strong desire by people to get in [...]
Some people move so much during the day that they get as much exercise as they need without going to the gym or buying special equipment. You probably know who you are. Roofers, carpenters, landscapers, and general laborers are constantly moving. If you haven’t worked in one of these jobs and then try it for a day, you will [...]
We know that exercise is good for us. We also know that “fitness” is good and that being overweight is bad. In fact, both consistent exercise and high fitness levels are associated with longer life. However, in recent years some people have proposed that you can be both overweight and fit without much exercise. Really? Can you be fat [...]
We’ve all heard that big commercial gyms experience a surge of new memberships in January and that these new members stop showing up soon thereafter. The usual explanation is that people lose their enthusiasm for their new years’ resolutions. A few months later, the new pitch is to get in shape for summer, the beach and all that. What [...]
No, not the kind you listen to during your cardio workout – the kind that you stretch to work your muscles. They seem like a simple and inexpensive way to get the benefits of weight training at home without needing the space that weights can take up. So what’s the problem? Keep reading. Exercise bands were most recently in [...]
You knew that exercise helps prevent heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. You knew that it can help you lose weight. You probably haven’t thought much about the effect it can have on your sleep, but science has now done that for you. It helps! Sleep is widely recognized as a great restorative. Among the less mysterious ways it works [...]
Just when you thought you couldn’t remember all the studies that show that exercise is good for your brain, along comes a review of thirty-nine of them to help you. Memory is especially improved for people over fifty when exercise is done on a regular basis concluded the British Journal of Sports Medicine in its March 30, 2017 issue. Though exercise appeared [...]
Along comes another study to confront your sedentary friends with. On the other hand, don’t do that. Just be smug in the knowledge that you’ll probably outlive them. The new study was actually a review of five other studies, totaling about 55,000 subjects at five U.S. universities. The conclusion was that running can prolong your life more than any other [...]