Steamboat Library Author Series to host science writer Christie Aschwanden for book on fitness recovery
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When it comes to the proper modes of fitness, everyone has their own take.
Whether cycling, swimming, running or lifting weights at the gym, all athletes do share one thing in common: they need to recover.
But even now, proper recovery techniques are up for debate. That’s the premise for Christie Aschwanden’s novel, “Good To Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery.”
“When I was an athlete, recovery was something you waited for,” Aschwanden said. “Now it’s become this thing that’s more of a verb. It’s something people are actually doing, they’re actually doing these things to enhance recovery.”
Aschwanden has traveled the country discussing her book and is making Steamboat one of her final stops at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at Bud Werner Memorial Library.
As a science journalist for FiveThirtyEight, current contributor to The New York Times and a former health columnist for The Washington Post, Aschwanden’s expertise expands beyond her personal fitness. She spoke with 250 experts and read 1,000 scientific papers to put together her book on recovery.
Her goal is to help people think critically about the products marketed to them, able to differentiate pseudoscience from real science.
“I’ll make the case that we’ve made recovery too complicated,” Aschwanden said. “So much of the marketing exploits the fear of missing out. I’ve been getting tons of letters from people saying they’ve cleared out whole cabinets of stuff and years of stuff they didn’t need.”
What: Steamboat Library Author Series
When: 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 19
Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave.
Aschwanden’s book includes chapters that explores theories like whether or not beer is a good recovery drink or what supplements are effective or could lead to failing a drug test. She also addresses technology’s role in recovery, specifically, sports watches, and warns against overtraining.
For the most part, Aschwanden’s book has been well-received, with the exception of some New England Patriots fans on Twitter. Their quarterback, Tom Brady, has reached national spotlight for his dietary restrictions and eccentric recovery habits that might play a role in him staying in the game at 42 years old.
“He has infrared pajamas that are completely bogus,” Aschwanden said. “Some of the stuff he gets right, but he’s got a lot of products, and his ideas about hydration are outrageous.”
While the book comes from a strictly scientific perspective, Aschwanden also has her own insight to being an athlete as a former runner for the University of Colorado and Nordic ski racer for Team Rossignol. She’s currently an avid cyclist. The topic of recovery always daunted her as an endurance athlete, which is what led to her ultimate exploration.
“It’s definitely made me a much more resilient athlete,” Aschwanden said.
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The 20th anniversary season of Opera Steamboat will kick off this month with a new series, the “Variations Piano Series,” bringing world-class pianists from across the country to Steamboat Springs.