Maharam's Curve: The Exercise High--How to Get It, How to Keep It

Lewis G. Maharam, Author W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-393-03365-6
Maharam, a primary care physician who is medical director of the Sports Medicine Association of New York, here offers his own research as proof that the much-touted release of endorphins actually has little if anything to do with the ``zone'' or ``high'' that athletes experience at peak performance. Instead, he writes, the key is psychological. Thus, he provides an exercise program that will, he claims help readers find their ``own personal best rhythm.'' Maharam insists that his plan is not ``a vague New Age wandering about in the backstairs of the brain,'' but rather a serious attempt to correlate mood swings with exercise and chart them on a curve. Finding the apex of the curve will enable the exerciser to make achieving a ``high'' deliberate, not accidental. Maharam recommends keeping a diary--for example, a biker's diary might show a consistent peak in mood elevation whenever he or she bikes ten miles at a particular pace. Maharam promises that ``riding the curve'' will improve everything from sleeping to sex to longevity, but his tone is amicable rather than messianic, so most readers probably won't mind the pep talk. His book also includes many pages filled with tips on 18 different kinds of exercise, diet, warm-ups, warm-downs, and whatnot--all sensible advice that nonetheless feels like padding. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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