A. J. Jacobs: Advice for Living

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In another installment of "experimental living," A.J. Jacobs, the author of The Year of Living Biblically, follows ALL the advice for healthy living for his new book, Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection.

EVENT: Join A.J. Jacobs at the Barnes & Noble on 82nd street and Broadway on Wednesday, April 11 at 7pm.


A.J. Jacobs

Comments [22]

tom LI

as a life long (I'm 51, and fit as a fiddle, though not shaped like one) exercise and nutrition conscious person - I've heard it all, from the "Experts" to these sorts. What ends up happening with these sorts like the author is - they find that thing that clicks for them and it becomes the ONLY thing for everyone else. Boring!

Its all very easy. Keep moving - all day. Rest when only you already moved a lot. Get in the habit of thinking of food as a fuel only, like a car. You don't over-fill the gas tank to get more miles out of it, eat what you need not what you want. Sleep at least 7 hours for 4 nights/week.

Stop watching so much TV, select a few shows to watch and thats it, no more surfing. And shut the computer down by a certain time each day.

Apr. 11 2012 06:16 PM

Dwarf wheat, a new high yield wheat, which has dominated wheat since only about 1978, may exacerbate the problems of cave men eating 10,000 year old wheat.
I've recently read that dwarf wheat's different gluten and simpler carbs cause sugar spikes and insulin rebound and hunger, that causes increased calorie consumption.
The modified gluten may cause more gluten allergies.

Apr. 11 2012 11:35 AM
Patricia from Cjelsea, Manhattan

Mr. Jacobs' statement that older women need iron supplementation is contrary to everything I've read on the subject, which is that, because older women no longer lose iron via a monthly menstrual cycle, they should definitely not take iron supplements.

Did Mr. Jacobs mis-speak, or does he have new information that I (and probably other older women) need to know?

Apr. 11 2012 11:34 AM
Louis Steinberg

This whole segment is profoundly anti-science. History shows that it is terribly easy to mislead yourself with this kind of anecdotal , sample size = 1 "research". Over the years methods have been found to avoid fooling ourselves this way (double-blind experiments, statistical measures, etc.). This kind of segment is interesting and no doubt helps book sales, but leads to the kind of willful ignorance that results in denial of global warning and other self destructive ignorance. I am disappointed in WNYC and Brian.

Apr. 11 2012 11:33 AM
Liz Whelan from W. Village

For his next project I think AJ should use, in one year, in speech or writing, every word in the 12-volume Oxford English Dictionary.

Apr. 11 2012 11:32 AM
LL from UWS

He should also try Tantric Sex.

Apr. 11 2012 11:30 AM

How about a year of not buying anything? Or buying anything new? (Except food.)

Apr. 11 2012 11:29 AM
flo from Queens

I have been using some of the things he says for quite a few years now: crossword puzzles everyday (they are my passion); TV off ALL OF THE TIME in my house (ON - only to watch specificaly chosen movies, documentaries, etc); eating dinner food in the morning and cereal at night (except when I know I have to go out to dinner; NEVER take elevators upstairs, but only downstairs (to save on my knees); trying to do treadmill three days a week. All these are not rocket science - they are common sense.
My downfall - bread - love good bread! Trying to cut that down.

Apr. 11 2012 11:28 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Well the so-called "ATkins Diet" which I still essentially follow, is not much different than the new so-called "Caveman diet." Basically, we know that grains came into our world and revolutionized it less than 10,000 years ago, and carbohydrates are okay and necessary if you really work hard all day and burn those calories up! But if you are eating pizza and drinking sodas and eating bagels and not really working those carbs off, they will accumulate and bring you down eventually.

Apr. 11 2012 11:27 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Wait, people ate grains before they farmed them. Maybe not as much as after they started raising them, but grains were part of what the hunter-gatherer societies gathered. Whole-grain carbs are much healthier than refined-grain carbs, though, & too many low-carb diets don't acknowledge that.

Apr. 11 2012 11:27 AM
Dan from Hamilton, NJ

My wife is a Dietician and she will tell you that the cave man diet is great if you want to live to 45, because that was their average lifespan. Complex carbs, in addition to modern medicine, have allowed us double our life expectancy...

Apr. 11 2012 11:26 AM
Amy from Manhattan

How can most people (who can't try everything) find out what works best for them, since it's not the same for everyone?

Apr. 11 2012 11:24 AM

Cheeseburgers and high colonics - the true key to life!

Apr. 11 2012 11:22 AM
zeb from bushwick bk

this is the type of guy i'd never want to invite to a dinner party......

Apr. 11 2012 11:21 AM

Why would I care if this guy likes colonics or not, if he likes raw food or not? Why don't you put on some people that know something about something- listening to the likes and dislikes of some guy who tried 'everything' is completely useless. This is a conversation on the water cooler level.

Apr. 11 2012 11:20 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Well, the first rule to being healthy is to be born healthy and to get healthy genes from your genetic predecessors.
As for exercising, I think no more than a half hour a day using a DIVERSE range of exercises including with light weights, aerobics, yoga stretches and even isometrics, etc should be sufficient if done regularly and some degree intensity, at least to bring up the heart rate. Getting the heart to pump a fit faster is very important. Keeping bones strong and muscles supple is important. Deep breathing exercises and keeping air passes and lungs well aerated are important. But all of this does NOT necessarily take a whole lot of time and excess work. A little goes a long way if done right!

Most important is eating properly, keeping sugars and carbohydrates to a minimum and drinking LOTS of fresh water!

I think that's most of it. STaying away from trouble and from unhealthy environments are also important.

Apr. 11 2012 11:19 AM


Apr. 11 2012 11:19 AM

Pilates is so important!!!

I teach Pilates because it's completely changed my life. it focuses your attention on your body in a way that strength training cannot. It's sort of a spiritual look at the bio-mechanics of your body.

Apr. 11 2012 11:18 AM
John A.

My spam insists:
"It's simple: Flush the fat right out of your system!"

Has AJ tried this?

Apr. 11 2012 11:18 AM

i lost 40lbs bicycle commuting and eating salad and popcorn.

The popcorn was the key.

Apr. 11 2012 11:14 AM

I think it's really important to remember that no matter what regime you follow, it is not like money in the bank. Exercise is only effective if it is a lifelong commitment. Just because you run, swim, bike now, doesn't mean those gains in health stay with you. You have to keep it up.

Apr. 11 2012 11:13 AM
ann m

How does AJ feel about the Britannica going out of publication? Now how is the way to know EVERYTHING if you want to read it all?

Apr. 11 2012 11:13 AM

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