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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Exercise Will Hurt You
Book cover for Exercise Will Hurt YouBook cover for Exercise Will Hurt You

A doctor's case for moderation in running, cycling, skiing, and other things we do because we think our bodies are invincible.

When was it decided that exercise could only be good for you? In Exercise Will Hurt You, leading neurosurgeon Dr. Steve Barrer argues—based on an extensive career treating exercise-related injuries, a cornucopia of his own personal injuries from exercise over the years, and ample scientific data—that we ought to change the way we think about exercise in the United States.

Instead of succumbing to what Barrer calls "the cult of exercise" that follows the mantra "no pain, no gain," how about some common sense? Pain is the body's way of telling us to stop. In a clear, friendly, and compelling voice, Barrer surveys exercise and sports that are commonly practiced—yoga, boxing, football, hockey, soccer, skiing—and informs the reader knowledgeably and conscientiously about the injuries that can result.

We've come to believe that the body can handle the abuse that comes with these sports, but it can't. Before we get carried away with the culture of excess that has been assigned to exercise in this country, let's remember that exercise is not always good for you, and make sure that our young people don't get the wrong idea from the model that's been set: no, your body is not invincible and yes, exercise can truly hurt you.

Book cover for Exercise Will Hurt You
Book cover for Exercise Will Hurt YouBook cover for Exercise Will Hurt You

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“You know to steer clear of those artery-clogging fries and that steaming cup of coffee. Dr. Steve Barrer now shows us the dangers that lurk in. . .exercise! Whether you're a professional athlete, a weekend cyclist, occasional jogger, or parent of a young athlete, heed this witty neurosurgeon's warning or you may end up maimed or worse.”

Steven Barrer

STEVEN J. BARRER, MD is currently Director of the Neurosciences Institute and Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery at Abington Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Barrer was named among the “Top Docs” in Philadelphia Magazine from 2009–2012 and is the author of Exercise Will Hurt You. He has published numerous journal articles and papers on the subject of neurosurgery. Dr. Barrer is involved in educating medical students and residents, holds a position on the clinical faculty of Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and is frequently invited as a guest speaker for his patient-centered passion, wisdom, and wit.