A large section is devoted to nutritional questions that go far beyond
the usual dietary recommendations. Indeed, not a single jogging-related
health aspect gets neglected: "The consequences of this often sudden
and unexpected narrowing of the vessels through calcium deposits - the
heart attack - are all too familiar. Yet hardly anyone knows how the calcium
gets there and what triggers this disease in the first place, from the very outset.
It's high time to shed some light on this obscure subject, and I promise you the
story will be exciting. It all begins with an ambush. For fats to enter the nutritional
cycle they first have to move from the stomach to the liver where they can be
metabolized. And to do this they need a means of transportation. Blood alone is not
enough:it's too watery, and fat is insoluble in water. The fat particles would only jam
up in the bloodstream. So, since they can't get there by foot they take a delivery truck,
and the more fat you eat, the larger the vehicle fleet. These vehicles consist of tiny
protein globules that cling piggy-back to the fat particles and guide them to their
destinations. But the journey is dangerous, for the path is full of wild bands of free
radicals just waiting to ambush these protein globules withtheir precious cargoes of fat."
Nor does our author overlook the outstanding role that running plays in
reducing this danger: "There is a way to prevent all this: regular jogging.
With endurance training, the blood flows freely rather than sluggishly through our
veins and arteries. And since the blood can flow freely, the heart doesn't have to
work full throttle and requires less oxygen. Meanwhile, vitamin E makes sure that
the blood platelets don't get sticky. Thus, jogging and vitamin E are not only the
safest but also the simplest and most natural way to protect oneself from the most
frequent cause of death: arteriosclerosis followed by a heart attack."
Equally entertaining is Muehlbauer's presentation of the mental side of jogging.
Chapter 10, "Jogging as a Sedative," demonstrates in the author's customary
light-handed style that running can be anything but boring: "Unfortunately,
outsiders can't see what's going on in the jogger's mind - and it's anything but
boring. Just as pictures arise in the mind's eye while reading, a vast panoply of thoughts
and ideas crop up during jogging. So, let's raise the curtain and take a look at the mental
adventures of a jogger."
Those who asked at the beginning how anyone can write 264 pages about jogging will be
surprised to find that Chapter 10 has already taken them to page 180 and will note with
gratitude that there are still 80 pages of helpful and pleasurable reading left. From beginning
to end the author keeps the promise he gives us in his preface: "My object was to make
scientific expressions intelligible to all, for there is nothing more useless than a general
guide bursting at the seams with technical patois, which is regrettably the case with many
books on sports medicine."
This fresh, lively, and always entertaining book is more than a guide to jogging.
It is an act of gentle persuasion to a healthy lifestyle. We cannot recommend it
highly enough to anyone who wants to escape the clutches of laziness and do
something for his or her physical fitness.