Gadgets Do Not Equal Health, says Fitness for Geeks Author

By: Lee Rickwood

June 22, 2012

by Lee Rickwood

Sometimes it’s seems the only exercise many of us get is spending hours in front of the computer or gaming device or TV-and-tablet combo of our choice.

cover samplerBut too much sitting has scientifically documented negative health effects.

Genetics have programmed us for pretty much continuous motion; the human body is designed for “an oscillation of movement throughout the day”, says author Bruce W. Perry in his new book, Fitness for Geeks. Eons of evolution will do that.

But, nowadays we boot up into much more sedentary lifestyle, and we sit around way too much: car or bus, computer or TV, work cubicle or school desk.

And so our bodies crash; sitting is more than a lazy habit – it’s downright bad for us.

Couch potato or chair lifer, code warrior or casual surfer, Fitness for Geeks has a database of information to offer about getting up and over that. It has plenty of good advice for eating and moving and feeling better for anyone, seated or not.

This book is not about just stretching your arms and rolling your wrists at the desktop (although it does have some suggestions). It’s really a rich recipe for a new way of living, one that encompasses all that “health and fitness” implies for the human mind, body and spirit.

It’s written for geeks, by a geek; Perry graciously defines the term as anyone who spends a huge amount of time analyzing what interests them, well beyond most others around them.

A former soccer player and a software engineer, Perry lets all sides shine through in his book. He loves life; he knows technology and healthy living, too.  It’s all packed in his book, with technical and scientific information on nutrition and exercise in all the depth and detail you could want.

But there’s also a fun and sporty style, along with a little homespun wisdom about how to live healthier, climb further and find food at airports.

Carefully going over what we can do to step away from our computers and towards a healthier lifestyle, Perry discusses the best exercise routines to lose weight, and or maintain a healthy weight. He includes advice, examples, diagrams and references for home and gym, and a good weight room.

There’s a lot of information about what to eat, too, and the best times of day to eat it (while avoiding carbs before exercising).

He’s a geek, don’t forget, so the detail can be a bit intimidating: figuring out one’s micronutrient requirements to the microgram is one thing; happily, Perry presents another approach in a chapter called Apples vs. Twinkies.

There are also plenty of online references and Web links and pointers about which smartphone apps are the best for exercise, and how to use them.  The book is full of examples of high tech fitness tools and devices and ways to connect with fitness experts, exercise routines and dietary programs in an online community of other health seekers.

One problem is these riches are scattered throughout the book, but if you don’t know about apps and sites likes endomundo, fitbit and the comprehensive Men’s Health Workout app, well, finding them in the book will be all the more worthwhile.

Breathe app screen capture

Mobile apps for breathing are available

(As an aside, one place to find a nice quick list of health and fitness apps is at the website and postings of lifestyle coach Libby Norris, covering fitness, diet, running, yoga and more.

Even further aside, for the truly health and fitness challenged, there is a new iPhone app that reminds you to breathe! A quick reminder that oxygen is important.)

But in Fitness for Geek: Real Science, Great Nutrition, and Good Health, Bruce Perry takes the time – and over three hundred pages – to reveal what cubicle dwellers, home office addicts, and the rest of us tech junkies can really do to reverse “chair living,” and how to take advantage of both deep human precedent and modern technical wizardry to get moving, and eat right.

There’s more at Perry’s blog, of course and a podcast you can check out with author Perry and editor Brian Sawyer.

Just get up and walk a bit before you do.


submitted by Lee Rickwood


Fitness for Geeks

Publisher: O’Reilly Media; May 2, 2012

By Bruce W. Perry

Print ISBN: 9781449399894   Ebook ISBN: 9781449399887

Pages: 336

Print Price: $34.99   Ebook Price: $27.99


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