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Book provided by O’reilly Media as part of their Blogger Review Program. The reviewer maybe cheap, but his integrity isn’t.
O’reilly Media is perhaps best know for a series of programming and technical books all adorned with animal images on the cover. They have been one of the mainstays of technical publications for quite awhile and in recent years have branched out from the purely technical with offers such as ‘Cooking for Geeks’ and this book published in April of this year.
‘Fitness for Geeks’ is an all encompassing look at nutrition, exercise, and rest in a way that appeals to the typical geek’s mind. There is quantitative analysis, scientific studies, hands-on experiments, and gadgets. Quite honestly it takes the seemingly dull routine of maintaining a healthy body and turns it up to 11.
From the outset the author makes it clear that this isn’t a book that necessarily advocates one type of exercise/diet plan/gadget/website over another. This book presents the facts and data to inform you for whatever choices you may or may not make. The topics range from a description of micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients to descriptions of various weight lifting and cardio routines to an in-depth look at the key role rest plays in making us healthy.
The book is arranged in a way that makes it easy to access any particular subject in any particular order. You do not have to sit down and read this book cover to cover, you can pick and choose a chapter as you feel led. It is this aspect of the writing that I find to be the most ripe for a bit of criticism.
If you choose to read this book from cover to cover you may find yourself wondering if there is duplication that could be edited out. Because ideas in one chapter can directly link to ideas described in other chapters, the author’s tendency leaned towards a sentence or two overview with a note pointing to the relevant chapter. I’ll be upfront and say there probably wasn’t a better way to handle the information and had I not been reading this from start to end for review purposes, I probably would not have noticed it. However, I know I can’t possibly be the only one with an obsessive compulsive need for order in this world, so I’m giving this forewarning.
Overall I found this book to be a good foundation for exercise and nutrition. There are plenty of notes throughout referencing other studies and papers for extended reading and plenty of websites and gadgets are mentioned to aid in the quest for a healthier you.
If you think walking to the 2nd floor printer to get your print-out is good, daily exercise, you need to read this book. If you think throwing a handful of shredded broccoli into your cup o noodles every now and then or adding green pepper to your pizza is eating healthy, you need to read this book.