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Running: Cheaper Than Therapy By Chas Newkey-Burden

Release date: 15th December, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Sport

List Price: £10.99
Our Price: £8.99
You Save: £2 (18%)
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No-one is quite sure who collates such statistics, but mid-February is, apparently, the time when 80% of people give up on their new year resolutions.

Presumably a comprehensive range of excuses are being nurtured as you read this, but all will represent a victory for the mind over body; “I can’t do it” is likely to be the most common explanation for giving up, even though (as readers of last week’s review of In The Zone will know), the body is perfectly capable of continuing.

If your longer-term commitment to a resolution made less than five weeks ago is wavering, therefore, then acquiring a copy of Running: Cheaper Than Therapy is highly recommended.

The book’s most attractive feature is that it isn’t preachy. The author doesn’t employ a supercilious tone, a characteristic evident from the book’s introduction when he pinpoints happiness as one of the most important reasons for donning a pair of trainers and start running around the local park. Nor, he adds, should you concern yourself with how you look in a pair of shorts – no-one gives a monkeys about your appearance, so just get on with your running.

Studies have found that running reduces stress, anxiety and depression, but Newkey-Burden reminds us that the happy, contented condition known as ‘runner’s high’ is not only achievable but a medical fact. “We feel jubilation after a long period of exertion,” he writes, “due to a rush of chemical substances called cannabinoids, the same stuff that’s found in marijuana. A healthier high”

There’s more. Running bolsters the immune system; strengthens the knees; it’s cheaper than going to the gym; it can extend your life by more than five years; it lowers the risk of contracting cancer; it’s great for the heart etc etc.

Hopefully, a smattering of these bullet points (extended upon in the book) will have an impact upon those having second thoughts about jettisoning their new year resolution. If not, Newkey-Burden weaves in some very funny anecdotes and contributions from amateur runners such as Alistair Campbell and David Baddiel as well as ‘proper’ athletes including Olympian Liz Yelling.

Buying this book could actually bolster your commitment to continuing with your January resolution, so ask yourself: is my health worth eight quid?

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