Book Review: The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies

The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies – Jordan D. Metzl, M.D.

What’s it all about?

Whether you’re an athlete or just embarking on a new exercise routine, The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies is an essential- and interesting- book for your library. Dr. Jordan Metzl takes a look at sports-related injuries from an athlete’s perspective. He knows, as an amateur athlete himself, that when a sporty-type feels a niggle or pain coming on, their first thought is, ‘ouch’, but the second, immediately after is, ‘if I’m injured, how long am I out of the game?’

Dr. Metzl looks at a full range of pains and injuries and helps the weekend warrior through the seasoned athlete know what’s wrong, how long it will last, how to treat the problem at home and when it’s necessary to bring in a doctor.

The Good

Despite being a doctor, Metzl’s first reaction isn’t, ‘Stop exercising and go to the doctor.’ Yes, some pains and injuries require time off and some do require a doctor’s visit, but The Athlete’s Book often prescribes exercises as a remedy- better yet, provides exercises and stretches that can help strengthen the body to prevent injury in the first place.

The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies is easy to navigate, with the bulk of the text categorised under Part One- Tell Me Where It Hurts. Each chapter within this section deals with a different area of the body (for example, Chapter 4: Lower Back) and starts with a brief (and interesting) anatomy lesson. From there, each chapter is divided into different maladies (i.e., lower back spasms), goes through the symptoms, how to fix it, how to prevent it and when to call a doctor. Metzl also gives an honest answer about the likelihood of needing surgery, and he often gives good news- no surgery required.

Detailed illustrations accompany exercise descriptions and the ‘prevent it’ exercises are a welcome change from the typical doctor’s approach of treating injury only after it happens.

The Great

Dr. Metzl takes what could be a dry medical text and infuses it with a personality. Often speaking in the first person, he writes in a way that lets the reader know that he’s been there- even if he hasn’t experienced the injury himself, he has done the work to prevent it or helped other athletes to get through the strain, pain, break or fracture.

And he’s even funny: ‘I say it because it’s true: A strong butt is the key to a happy life.’ It sounds like an exaggeration, but Metzl goes on to prove the point, and dedicates an entire section: Part 4- Iron-Strength Workouts to a happy life through a strong and injury-free body.

The Not-So-Great

The Athlete’s Book also includes The Athlete’s Guide to Great Eating because according to Metzl, almost every injury has a nutritional component as well. While this could fall under ‘The Great’ (you have to love a holistic approach), the diet plans that are included give daily recommendations for a 185-pound (84 kilo) man. There is no information about how to adapt the daunting 3,400-3,500 calorie-a-day diets to smaller people, women or those that exercise enough to need a lot of calories, but perhaps not 3,500.

On a positive note, however, one of the diet plans is for strength-seeking athletes, one is for endurance athletes, so with some adaptation, they can fit into a wide range of goals. Written by Susan M. Kleiner, PhD, RD, a foremost authority on Sports Nutrition, the diets also take into consideration what many others do not. Things like: sometimes an athlete trains with a sports drink, when to eat for recovery, and some fairly easy meal plans for busy people whose profession isn’t their sport.

Worth Reading?

Yes! When you don’t have an injury, read it for the intense exercises and smart injury-preventing tips. If you get an injury anyway, read it to know what to do next.



Trigirl Review: 5 stars out of 5

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