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Fitness for Geeks

Publisher: O'Reilly

Gamers come in all ages, shapes and sizes these days, but generally, being a gamer doesn't usually go hand-in-hand with being physically fit. Most games let you experience excitement while sitting on a couch in a dark room, perhaps while munching on some chips and chasing them down with a cold drink. It happens.

Bruce W. Perry speaks to the geek in each of us, providing some interesting information about health, nutrition and fitness in a way that appeals to one's inner curious scientist, providing useful data, but also encouraging self-documentation and experimentation to find out what works for you.

Fitness for Geeks is separated into chapters that each look at specific aspects of interest to the geek desiring to get fit, from chapters that explain the problems of the typical geek's sedentary lifestyle, to a chapter on the various software, websites and gadgets that can be used to track your fitness levels, to a chapter that gives you pointers on making your way around in a gym, to a chapter that explains some things about micronutrients in some reasonable depth, so you can actually understand what's going on inside of your organic machinery, rather than simply remember facts, as you may have in Health class back in school. These chapters are design to allow you to use the book as a reference, if you desire, rather than reading through it linearly. This usage is made easier by a well-stocked index. Personally, I suggest doing both - read it once through, to learn as much as you can, but consult the individual chapters when you need to find some information you don't recall completely. What was the minimum amount of Calcium needed for a male my age? What foods are high in Vitamin K, again? What was that website that tracks physical activity and keeps track of dietary intake? That sort of thing.

The writing is a nice blend of informative and entertaining, well-formed, well put and rife with sidebars focusing on interesting tidbits or briefly interviewing an expert on a given subject. And you never have to take Perry's word for much of anything; he includes URLs for a whole slew of websites for reference.

At one point in Fitness for Geeks, Perry gives a description of the Paleolithic diet and, in short, the idea behind it is that the human body is designed to process certain foods in certain ways. According to the theory, people would have better health if they mimicked the diet and activities of man in Paleolithic times. The description is short, in and of itself, but the Paleolithic diet appears to be at the root of the author's personal view of health and fitness, so it is quite often referenced throughout the various chapters.

If you want to improve your general health and fitness and you have a healthy scientific curiosity, Fitness for Geeks may be just what you need to get you moving (literally) on the path to better nutrition, health and biological self-discovery. Highly recommended.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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