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No Sweat summary

Michelle Segar

How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness

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No Sweat by Michelle Segar is a guide to help readers change their mindset around exercise. The author argues that focusing on intrinsic motivations for physical activity, rather than external ones like weight loss, can lead to a sustainable and enjoyable fitness routine.

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    No Sweat
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    Popular health and fitness messages just aren’t motivating enough to keep you exercising.

    How many times have you started a new diet and lost a few pounds, only to gain them back quickly with the help of a comfy sofa and a tub of ice cream?

    If this has happened to you more than once, you’re not entirely to blame. The reality is that today’s health and fitness messages just aren’t motivating enough.

    Marcia gained an extra 30 pounds after her first child and had tried everything to lose the weight, from special foods to fasting, doctors’ diet plans to hours on the treadmill. Nothing worked!

    Why? Because Marcia really wasn’t motivated.

    She kept hearing the same messages. You eat too much junk. You’re overweight because you don’t exercise enough. If you exercised more, you’d become more healthy and attractive!

    Such messages aren’t motivating, as the benefits of exercise are really only apparent in the future – that is, weeks, months or years from today. But we want to be healthy and attractive now! Humans are hardwired to prefer immediate gratification. We don’t like waiting for rewards.

    In 1994, the author looked at whether ten weeks of exercise would decrease anxiety and depression among breast cancer survivors. Participants were split into two groups: one that exercised and a second that didn’t. Interestingly, the group that exercised showed lowered levels of anxiety and depression.

    And yet, three months later, nearly all of them said they had stopped exercising! Why did this happen?

    Despite the clear benefits of exercise, the participants didn’t feel compelled to continue. This is because the promise of better health in the future just couldn’t keep them motivated.

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    What is No Sweat about?

    No Sweat (2015) will help you stop viewing exercise as a chore and start believing in its benefits for your whole life. These blinks explain how you can boost your motivation and develop a sustainable approach to fitness and self-care.

    No Sweat Review

    No Sweat (2015) is a thought-provoking exploration of the science behind motivation and exercise. Here's why reading this book is a great idea:

    • It offers practical strategies that help us overcome barriers to staying active, making it easier to lead a healthy lifestyle.
    • By highlighting the emotional rewards of physical activity rather than focusing on weight loss, it reframes our perspective and encourages long-term engagement.
    • The book's compelling research and relatable stories make it anything but boring, ensuring that readers stay engaged while learning valuable insights.

    Best quote from No Sweat

    What sustains us, we sustain.

    —Michelle Segar
    example alt text

    Who should read No Sweat?

    • People struggling to exercise regularly
    • Anyone looking for motivation on how to stay fit

    About the Author

    Michelle Segar is an American behavioral sustainability scientist, writer and speaker. She is the director of the University of Michigan’s Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy (SHARP) Center, and also chairs the US National Physical Activity Plan’s Communications Committee, advising the group on new strategies for the American public and policy makers.

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    No Sweat FAQs 

    What is the main message of No Sweat?

    No Sweat teaches us how to enjoy exercise and make it a sustainable part of our lives.

    How long does it take to read No Sweat?

    The reading time for No Sweat varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is No Sweat a good book? Is it worth reading?

    No Sweat is worth reading because it offers practical advice on how to make exercise enjoyable and sustainable.

    Who is the author of No Sweat?

    No Sweat is written by Michelle Segar.