The Best Fitness eBooks




Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection
by A.J. Jacobs
Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

 From the bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All comes the true and truly hilarious story of one person’s quest to become the healthiest man in the world.

Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, “I don’t want to be a widow at forty-five,” and ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat,” A. J. Jacobs felt compelled to change his ways and get healthy. And he didn’t want only to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far greater: maximal health from head to toe.

The task was epic. He consulted an army of experts — sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He subjected himself to dozens of different workouts — from Strollercize classes to Finger Fitness sessions, from bouldering with cavemen to a treadmill desk. And he took in a cartload of diets: raw foods, veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing, and dozens more. He bought gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He poked and he pinched. He counted and he measured.

The story of his transformation is not only brilliantly entertaining, but it just may be the healthiest book ever written. It will make you laugh until your sides split and endorphins flood your bloodstream. It will alter the contours of your brain, imprinting you with better habits of hygiene and diet. It will move you emotionally and get you moving physically in surprising ways. And it will give you occasion to reflect on the body’s many mysteries and the ultimate pursuit of health: a well-lived life.


 



The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Long er
by Gretchen Reynolds
The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Long er

A cutting-edge prescription for exercise by the New York Times “Phys Ed” columnist

At one point or another, nearly every person who works out wonders: Am I doing this right? Which class is best? Do I work out enough? Answering those questions and more, The First 20 Minutes helps both weekend warriors dedicated to their performance and readers who simply want to get and stay fit gain the most from any workout.

With the latest findings about the mental and physical benefits of exercise, personal stories from scientists and laypeople alike, as well as researched-based prescriptions for readers, Gretchen Reynolds shows what kind of exercise — and how much — is necessary to stay healthy, get fit, and attain a smaller jeans size. Inspired by Reynolds's wildly popular “Phys Ed” column for The New York Times, this book explains how exercise affects the body in distinct ways and provides the tools readers need to achieve their fitness goals, whether that's a faster 5K or staying trim.


 



The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards
by William J. Broad
The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards

A lead science writer for The New York Times — and lifelong yoga practitioner — examines centuries of history and research to scrutinize the claims made about yoga for health, fitness, emotional wellbeing, sex, weight loss, healing, and creativity. He reveals what is real and what is illusory, in the process exposing moves that can harm or even kill. Five years in the making, The Science of Yoga draws on a hidden wealth of discovery, drama, and surprising fact to cut through the fog that surrounds contemporary yoga and to show — for the first time — what is uplifting and beneficial and what is delusional, flaky, and dangerous. At heart, it illuminates the risks and rewards.

Broad describes yoga as a burgeoning global industry that attracts not only curious scientists but millions of true believers and charismatic hustlers. He takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of unknown yoga that goes from old archives in Calcutta to world capitals of medical research, from storied ashrams to spotless laboratories, from sweaty yoga studios with master teachers to the cozy offices of yoga healers. In the process, he shatters myths, lays out unexpected benefits, and offers a compelling vision of how the discipline can be improved.


 



Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
by William Davis
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Renowned cardiologist, William Davis, MD explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems.
Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100 million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges that preventive cardiologist William Davis calls “wheat bellies.” According to Davis, that excess fat has nothing to do with gluttony, sloth, or too much butter: It’s due to the whole grain wraps we eat for lunch.

After witnessing over 2, 000 patients regain their health after giving up wheat, Davis reached the disturbing conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic — and its elimination is key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health. In Wheat Belly, Davis exposes the harmful effects of what is actually a product of genetic tinkering and agribusiness being sold to the American public as “wheat” — and provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle.

Informed by cutting-edge science and nutrition, along with case studies from men and women who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat, Wheat Belly is an illuminating look at what is truly making Americans sick and an action plan to clear our plates of this seemingly benign ingredient.


 



Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
by Gary Taubes
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

An eye-opening, myth-shattering examination of what makes us fat, from acclaimed science writer Gary Taubes.

In his New York Times best seller, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes argued that our diet’s overemphasis on certain kinds of carbohydrates — not fats and not simply excess calories — has led directly to the obesity epidemic we face today. The result of thorough research, keen insight, and unassailable common sense, Good Calories, Bad Calories immediately stirred controversy and acclaim among academics, journalists, and writers alike. Michael Pollan heralded it as “a vitally important book, destined to change the way we think about food.”

Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat — and how we can change — in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes’s crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

Taubes reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century, none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat, and the good science that has been ignored, especially regarding insulin’s regulation of our fat tissue. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid?

Packed with essential information and concluding with an easy-to-follow diet, Why We Get Fat is an invaluable key in our understanding of an international epidemic and a guide to what each of us can do about it.


 



The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
by Timothy Ferriss
The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

Thinner, bigger, faster, stronger… which 150 pages will you read?

Is it possible to:
Reach your genetic potential in 6 months?
Sleep 2 hours per day and perform better than on 8 hours?
Lose more fat than a marathoner by bingeing?
Indeed, and much more. This is not just another diet and fitness book.

The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, fixated on one life-changing question:

For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results?

Thousands of tests later, this book contains the answers for both men and women.

From the gym to the bedroom, it’s all here, and it all works.

YOU WILL LEARN (in less than 30 minutes each):
How to lose those last 5-10 pounds (or 100+ pounds) with odd combinations of food and safe chemical cocktails.

* How to prevent fat gain while bingeing (X-mas, holidays, weekends)
* How to increase fat-loss 300% with a few bags of ice
* How Tim gained 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, without steroids, and in four hours of total gym time
* How to sleep 2 hours per day and feel fully rested
* How to produce 15-minute female orgasms
* How to triple testosterone and double sperm count
* How to go from running 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers in 12 weeks
* How to reverse “permanent” injuries
* How to add 150+ pounds to your lifts in 6 months
* How to pay for a beach vacation with one hospital visit
       
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 50 topics covered, all with real-world experiments, many including more than 200 test subjects.

You don't need better genetics or more discipline. You need immediate results that compel you to continue.

That’s exactly what The 4-Hour Body delivers.


 



The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
by Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet

Do you want to lose fat and stay young, all while avoiding cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and a host of other illnesses? The Paleo Solution incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best. Written by Robb Wolf, a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With Robb's unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.


 



Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance
by Christopher McDougall
Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance

The best-selling author of Born to Run now travels to the Mediterranean, where he discovers that the secrets of ancient Greek heroes are still alive and well on the island of Crete, and ready to be unleashed in the muscles and minds of casual athletes and aspiring heroes everywhere.

After running an ultramarathon through the Copper Canyons of Mexico, Christopher McDougall finds his next great adventure on the razor-sharp mountains of Crete, where a band of Resistance fighters in World War II plotted the daring abduction of a German general from the heart of the Nazi occupation. How did a penniless artist, a young shepherd, and a playboy poet believe they could carry out such a remarkable feat of strength and endurance, smuggling the general past thousands of Nazi pursuers, with little more than their own wits and courage to guide them? 

McDougall makes his way to the island to find the answer and retrace their steps, experiencing firsthand the extreme physical challenges the Resistance fighters and their local allies faced. On Crete, the birthplace of the classical Greek heroism that spawned the likes of Herakles and Odysseus, McDougall discovers the tools of the hero — natural movement, extraordinary endurance, and efficient nutrition. All of these skills, McDougall learns, are still practiced in far-flung pockets throughout the world today.

More than a mystery of remarkable people and cunning schemes, Natural Born Heroes is a fascinating investigation into the lost art of the hero, taking us from the streets of London at midnight to the beaches of Brazil at dawn, from the mountains of Colorado to McDougall’s own backyard in Pennsylvania, all places where modern-day athletes are honing ancient skills so they’re ready for anything.

Just as Born to Run inspired readers to get off the treadmill, out of their shoes, and into the natural world,  Natural Born Heroes will inspire them to leave the gym and take their fitness routine to nature — to climb, swim, skip, throw, and jump their way to their own heroic feats.


 



The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life
by Dave Asprey
The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life

In his midtwenties, Dave Asprey was a successful Silicon Valley multimillionaire. He also weighed 300 pounds, despite the fact that he was doing what doctors recommended: eating 1, 800 calories a day and working out 90 minutes a day, six times a week.
When his excess fat started causing brain fog and food cravings sapped his energy and willpower, Asprey turned to the same hacking techniques that made his fortune to "hack" his own biology, investing more than $300, 000 and 15 years to uncover what was hindering his energy, performance, appearance, and happiness. From private brain EEG facilities to remote monasteries in Tibet, through radioactive brain scans, blood chemistry work, nervous system testing, and more, he explored traditional and alternative technologies to reach his physical and mental prime. The result? The Bulletproof Diet, an anti-inflammatory program for hunger-free, rapid weight loss and peak performance.
The Bulletproof Diet will challenge-and change-the way you think about weight loss and wellness. You will skip breakfast, stop counting calories, eat high levels of healthy saturated fat, work out and sleep less, and add smart supplements.
In doing so, you'll gain energy, build lean muscle, and watch the pounds melt off. By ditching traditional "diet" thinking, Asprey went from being overweight and sick in his twenties to maintaining a 100-pound weight loss, increasing his IQ, and feeling better than ever in his forties. The Bulletproof Diet is your blueprint to a better life.


 



The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal
The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances

"All runners wonder, at some point or another, why we do what we do. Mr. Inman's explanation is the best I've ever seen. And the funniest. Because he is clinically insane."
-Mark Remy, editor at large, Runner's World, author of The Runner's Rule Book

"He runs. He sweats. He heaves. He hates it. He loves it. He runs so hard his toenails fall off. He asks himself, why? Why do I do this? Here, gorgeously, bravely, hilariously, is Matt's deeply honest answer."
-Robert Krulwich, NPR

"Finally! A voice that sings with the Blerches of angels!"
-Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run

This is not just a book about running. It's a book about cupcakes. It's a book about suffering.

It's a book about gluttony, vanity, bliss, electrical storms, ranch dressing, and Godzilla. It's a book about all the terrible and wonderful reasons we wake up each day and propel our bodies through rain, shine, heaven, and hell.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author, Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal, comes this hilarious, beautiful, poignant collection of comics and stories about running, eating, and one cartoonist's reasons for jogging across mountains until his toenails fall off.

Containing over 70 pages of never-before-seen material, including "A Lazy Cartoonist's Guide to Becoming a Runner" and "The Blerch's Guide to Dieting, " this book also comes with Blerch race stickers.


 



Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar-Your Brain's Silent Killers
by David Perlmutter, Kristin Loberg
Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar-Your Brain's Silent Killers

A #1 New York Times bestseller-the devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain, with a 4-week plan to achieve optimum health.

Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that's been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age. He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our "smart genes" through specific dietary choices and lifestyle habits, demonstrating how to remedy our most feared maladies without drugs. With a revolutionary 4-week plan, GRAIN BRAIN teaches us how we can reprogram our genetic destiny for the better.

GRAIN BRAIN is a #1 New York Times bestseller and a finalist for a 2013 Books for a Better Life award.


 



Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease
by Robert H. Lustig
Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease

Robert Lustig’s 90-minute YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, has been viewed more than two million times. Now, in this much anticipated book, he documents the science and the politics that has led to the pandemic of chronic disease over the last 30 years.

In the late 1970s when the government mandated we get the fat out of our food, the food industry responded by pouring more sugar in. The result has been a perfect storm, disastrously altering our biochemistry and driving our eating habits out of our control.

To help us lose weight and recover our health, Lustig presents personal strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress; and societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. Compelling, controversial, and completely based in science, Fat Chance debunks the widely held notion to prove “a calorie is NOT a calorie”, and takes that science to its logical conclusion to improve health worldwide.


 



Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
by Scott Jurek, Steve Friedman
Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

For nearly two decades, Scott Jurek has been a dominant force — and darling — in the grueling and growing sport of ultrarunning. In 1999, as a complete unknown, he took the lead of the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile traverse over the old Gold Rush trails of the California Sierra Nevada. He won that race seven years in a row, setting a course record along the way. Twice he won the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile “jaunt” through Death Valley. Recently he set an American record of 165. 7 miles in 24 hours — 6 1/2 marathons in one day. And he was one of the elite runners who traveled to Mexico to run with the Tarahumara Indians, as profiled in the bestseller Born to Run. His accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary, but that he has achieved all of this on a plant-based diet makes his story all the more so.

In Eat and Run, Scott Jurek opens up about his life and career — as an elite athlete and a vegan — and inspires runners at every level. From his Midwestern childhood hunting, fishing, and cooking for his meat-and-potatoes family, to his early beginnings in running (he hated it), to his slow transition to ultrarunning and veganism, to his world-spanning, record-breaking races, Scott’s story shows the power of an iron will and blows apart all the stereotypes of what athletes should eat to fuel optimal performance. Chock-full of incredible, on-the-brink stories of endurance and competition, fascinating science, and accessible practical advice — including his own favorite plant-based recipes — Eat and Run will motivate everyone to “go the distance,” whether that means getting out for that first run, expanding your food horizons, or simply exploring the limits of your own potential.


 



It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways
by Dallas Hartwig, Melissa Hartwig
It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

Imagine yourself healthier than you ever thought possible.
It starts with food.

It Starts With Food outlines a clear, balanced, sustainable plan to change the way you eat forever — and transform your life in unexpected ways. Your success story begins with "The Whole30, " Dallas and Melissa Hartwig's powerful 30-day nutritional reset.

Over the last three years, their underground Whole30 program has quietly led tens of thousands of people to weight loss, improved quality of life and a healthier relationship with food — accompanied by stunning improvements in sleep, energy levels, mood and self-esteem. More significantly, devotees of their program have reported the "magical" elimination of hundreds of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions.

Now, Dallas and Melissa detail the theories behind the Whole30, summarizing the science in a simple, accessible manner. It Starts With Food will show you how certain foods may be having negative effects on how you look, feel and live — in ways that you'd never associate with your diet. More importantly, they outline their life-long strategy for Eating Good Food in one clear and detailed action plan designed to help you create a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food.

Infused with their signature wit, tough love and common sense approach, It Starts With Food is based on the latest scientific research and real-life experience, and includes success stories, a shopping guide, a meal planning template, a 30-day meal plan with creative, delicious recipes, and much more.


 



Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself
by Rich Roll
Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

Finding Ultra is Rich Roll’s incredible-but-true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever.
One cool evening in October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight at the time and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary lifestyle was taking him.
Most of us, when granted such a moment of clarity, look the other way — but not Rich.
Plunging into a new way of eating that made processed foods off-limits and that prioritized plant nutrition, and vowing to train daily, Rich morphed — in a matter of mere months — from out-of-shape midlifer to endurance machine. When one morning ninety days into his physical overhaul, Rich left the house to embark on a light jog and found himself running a near marathon, he knew he had to scale up his goals.
How many of us take up a sport at age forty and compete for the title of the world’s best within two years? Finding Ultra recounts Rich’s remarkable journey to the starting line of the elite Ultraman competition, which pits the world’s fittest humans against each other in a 320-mile ordeal of swimming, biking, and running. And following that test, Rich conquered an even greater one: the Epic5 — five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week.
But Finding Ultra is much more than an edge-of-the-seat look at a series of jaw-dropping athletic feats — and much more than a practical training manual for those who would attempt a similar transformation. Yes, Rich’s account rivets — and, yes, it instructs, providing information that will be invaluable to anyone who wants to change their physique. But this book is most notable as a powerful testament to human resiliency, for as we learn early on, Rich’s childhood posed numerous physical and social challenges, and his early adulthood featured a fierce battle with alcoholism.
Ultimately, Finding Ultra is a beautifully written portrait of what willpower can accomplish. It challenges all of us to rethink what we’re capable of and urges us, implicitly and explicitly, to “go for it.”


 






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