Exercise, Life, & Love: The Making of a Sedentary Society
Stephen J. Almada
Independently Published (2019)
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (7/21)
Whether it’s by choice or ignorance, the fact remains that when you open the paper, social media, or maybe even look outside, the world seems to be going to pot. From a young age, and it appears to get worse with the coming years, most American parents are teaching their kids to “be themselves” and do what makes them happy, even at the expense of others. If people would take the time to step back and notice the implications of this action, they might find a different approach to life.
Over the last twelve-plus years, Stephen J. Almada has made it his life mission to educate and work toward minimizing society’s learned behavior of a sedentary lifestyle. Almada presents his findings in “Exercise, Life, & Love: The Making of a Sedentary Society” in twelve chapters that will educate, enlighten, and motivate readers through the sheer impressiveness and amount of material presented. Almada does not sugar-coat the statistics of the diminution of our leaders and society; they are frightening. In his writing, he also covers all the bases with facts related to exercise, life, and love: emotional, physical, psychological, and environmental; his facts and examples are historically and evolutionary-based. Almada brings up ethical questions about the role of science in our daily lives, including the science of economics and how we equate materialism with happiness.
While reading “Exercise, Life, & Love,” it felt like I was back in college learning about sociology again; Almada does an excellent job tying societal issues into our individual lives. Another reason that I felt back in a college class is due to the writing- while done well, it may be read better by a more educated reader due to the vast number of scientific terms. I agree with many of Almada’s points, partly because they are proven facts and are hard to refute. This reviewer has always been active with exercise and trying to keep up with a healthy lifestyle, so I appreciate Almada’s attempt to educate readers on the benefits of exercise and its end goal of creating a happier, healthier society overall. From this point, I appreciate the stress of preventable diseases. I like that he continuously stresses how the three key factors have a connecting point in strengthening and enhancing our individual lives. If we don’t work on one of the three points, society will continue distancing itself from caring about others and be egocentric in itself.
Almada writes with care for individuals of all age groups. He brings experience as a health psychologist, epidemiologist, educator, and consultant to his work. Almada’s book should be on the list of readers who wish to increase their knowledge and work toward improving their lives through increasing their use of “Exercise, Life, & Love.”