Friday, January 9, 2015

Review: How to Think about Exercise by Damon Young

Publication Date: January 6, 2015

A look at how and why exercise affects the way we think and feel

It can often seem like existence is split in two: body and mind, flesh and spirit, moving and thinking. In the office or at study we are ‘mind workers’, with superfluous bodies. In the gym we stretch, run and lift, but our minds are idle. Damon Young challenges this idea, revealing how fitness can develop our bodies and minds, together. Exploring exercises and sports with the help of ancient and modern philosophy, he uncovers the pleasures, virtues and big ideas of fitness. By exercising intelligently, we are committing to wholeness: enjoying and enhancing our full humanity.

About the Author: Damon Young

I'm a philosopher and writer. I'm the author of several popular nonfiction books, published in Australia and overseas in English and translation.

My books include Distraction (2008), Philosophy in the Garden (2013) and, most recently, How to Think About Exercise (2014). I've written for outlets including The Age, The Australian, The Guardian, the ABC and BBC, and I'm a regular radio guest.

I have also published poetry, short fiction and a children’s picture book: My Nanna is a Ninja (2014).
You can also find me on Twitter: @damonayoung.

My Review

How to Think about Exercise by Damon Young

My rating 5/5 stars

I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

I don't normally read books about exercise, because they are boring to me. This book changed my outlook on exercise books. It was very witty and philosophical. It showed that smart people can exercise too, not just the steroid heavy types. In fact, the book reveals how even intelligent people should strive to work out more. Working out can increase your creativity and give your mind a rest at the same time.

I loved the author's side notes through the book. I also loved how he included pictures of himself trying to complete his own personal goals. He also asks questions for you to ponder about. I also learned some things about Charles Darwin I never knew before.

The main question in the book that really got me thinking was "How far did you walk today?" I also loved the chapter on tennis because I used to play.

I think everyone would find this book enjoyable. It discusses many different sports, and even if your a couch potato it gets you to think about how you could change and add in a few minutes of exercise to your life.

I look forward to reading more of this author's works. I also am considering reading What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. The author discussed him a few times in How to Think about Exercise, and he really seems extraordinary!

Do you exercise often? Did you make any New Year's Resolutions to change your exercise habits?


  1. I exercise 3x a week, and have been trying to add cardio and abs in on off days. It's tough getting old:)


  2. I have been trying to incorporate more activity into my daily life. I feel so much better when I exercise!

    1. I need to do that, its just the motivation that's the hardest part for me!

  3. Last year was the first one I was training consistently, and for the first time I actually feel happy about my body and it really helps with stress. I totally agree that everyone should be doing it and it's important to keep up with it, for the sake of your sanity.

    1. So that's what I need to be doing for stress! I love how together you are. :)

  4. This sounds like a great book! I really can't wait to read it, so thank you again for sending it ^.^ I am someone who is part of the basketball team, and there are three trainings a week for 2 hours at a time xD Lots of sport! And then I cycle to school everyday, and that is 40 minutes there, and another back. I think that is enough exercise!

    1. I really hope you like it! Feel free to send me any comments on it if you want. I really have been wanting to talk about it more! hehe Yeah I wish we were more like The Netherlands, I admire your bicycle lanes and how your towns are set up for it. One of my friends said you have to learn a lot of rules in order to get a cycle license too.