Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs

Ohhh, A.J. Jacobs. You’re so hilarious.

Jacobs is a writer / journalist who essentially takes on these massive, life-altering projects and then writes about it. The Know-It-All was about him reading the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica, and The Year of Living Biblically was about him trying to follow the Bible as literally as possible. His newest book, Drop Dead Healthy, is about him trying to be the healthiest man possible – which leads to him trying all sorts of crazy diets, workouts, and health advice. Considering my own recent health kick lately, this was a perfect pick for me.

As he starts off the book, he talks about how there have been SO many medical advances and stuff over the years, but that thanks to the Internet the crazy ideas are still around…

“Thanks to the Internet, just about any quarter-baked idea ever conceived still gets traction. Case in point: trepanning, a practice that dates back to 6500 BCE and involves drilling a hole in the skull to let out evil spirits. I did an Internet search. And guess what? It’s still around. Check out the International Trepanation Advocacy Group. It’s website features images of green-tinted brain scans next to doctors in white lab coats writing complicated math equations on boards. Apparently, this is not your caveman’s trepanation. No, this is totally scientifical drilling of holes in your skull.”

And right there is an example of how he infuses humor into basically every topic he talks about in this book. But even though the book was pretty hysterical and had me laughing out loud several times, it also gives you a lot to think about. He explores SO many things – how sitting is so damaging to our health, the Paleo diet, barefoot running, superfoods, the effect of pets on our health, the benefits of squatting, trying to live toxin and chemical-free life, food science, and how even the healthiest of us die eventually. And as he talks about the various things that he attempts to try to improve his health, it made me want to do some of it. I would TOTALLY have a treadmill desk in my future house – walk while you’re working or online. It’s brilliant. Or his tips for trying to eat less junk food – in an effort to avoid his favorite sweet treat, he told his wife to send a thousand dollar check to the American Nazi Party if he ate one. It worked – he didn’t even have a desire to eat those sweets, because the repercussions would just be too horrible to think of.

He sums up the book with some of his favorite advice, the habits he’ll probably continue with, and how he’s happy to be more in shape because he wants to be around for his wife and sons for as long as possible. Overall, this was a really fun book but also really relevant. I got this out from the library, but I’m definitely going to go buy my own copy to add to my collection of A.J. Jacobs books.

 

Sarah Says: 4 stars

 

 

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11 comments

  1. It’s interesting that he mentions a treadmill desk. John Green recently acquired one and has done vlogs about it and I so want one. Though I foresee injury the moment I have to write an intense email.
    The comment about sending money to the nazi party caught me off guard. That’s kind of brilliant and kind of messed up at the same time. I would fail at that. I have very little willpower (and very little money, so not much of a dealbreaker there).

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    1. LOL the Nazi thing was surprising, but kind of genius. Even if Treland held a $5 check written to the Nazis or KKK or something and agreed to send it if I ate some forbidden food, I couldn’t do it cause my natural disgust with those ideals would prevent me instantly. It’s an interesting concept for weight loss, lol.

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