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Instant Recess

Building a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time

Toni Yancey (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 280 pages
ISBN: 9780520263765
November 2010
$26.95, £21.00
Other Formats Available:
This lively, inspiring, and informative book zeroes in on the state of American fitness—persistently sedentary, plagued by obesity—and issues a clarion call to action that reaches across economic, racial, and educational lines. Toni Yancey finds that despite our best intentions and repeated resolutions to exercise, as well as a 40-year investment in fitness education and counseling, physical activity in all levels of society continues to plummet. In a warm, reader-friendly narrative that draws on solid scientific research, personal experience, and her own poetry, Yancey calls for a radically different approach: one that respects diversity and is grounded in the cultures of those most at risk. Instant Recess proposes regular ten-minute exercise breaks that utilize music and dance and are easily incorporated into school, work, and community life. Rather than encouraging unhealthful habits like cigarette breaks or high fat snacks, these “instant recesses” make the active choice the natural one. Here is a new paradigm for fitness and public health that promises vitality, well being, and a greater sense of community—demonstrating, as Yancey argues, that what’s good for the waistline is good for the bottom line.
Toni Yancey, MD, MPH, is Professor in the Department of Health Services and Co-Director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity at the School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles.
“Demonstrates the value of two 10-minute breaks of enjoyable communal activity as part of people’s everyday lives.”—New York Times
“An accessible aerobics program developed to promote a culture of physical activity at workplaces.”—Washington Post Book World
“Makes a compelling case for establishing ten-minute recesses—that is, aerobic breaks—in schools, churches, baseball stadiums, and offices around the country.”—Booklist
“Innovative approach for 21st-century fitness. . . . Highly Recommended.”—Choice
“It's a how-to-improve-American's-health book. It's a great read for anyone interested in fitness beyond the personal. “—
“Instant Recess is a terri?c book, well worth reading. . . . Run, dance, jump or hop to get your copy now.”—Nicholas Freudenberg Preventive Medicine
“This book offers great, real-world examples that can motivate others to replicate this community approach to fitness.”—Choice
‘Great, real-world examples that can motivate others to replicate this community approach to fitness. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice
“[Yancey] offers practical ideas for taking breaks, [and] she stresses that workplace culture also needs to change. . . . Taking breaks to walk and stretch makes for better employees because movement stimulates the brain.”—Orange County Register
"Toni Yancey's book is a terrific tool as we work together to promote healthy and active lifestyles."—Bill Clinton

"Instant Recess is a call to all of us to get up and move. Part personal memoir, part public health manifesto, and part poetry, Yancey's warmth and enthusiasm shine through this book. I'm betting that she can convince anyone that moving more is not only good for health, but easy and lots of fun to do."—Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat

"In Instant Recess, Dr. Yancey provides the tools to get America moving, in a very accessible style with the scientific research to back it up. Her call to incorporate short exercise breaks into routine, daily activities is one step that can create a true wellness society."—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman, Senate HELP Committee

"Dr. Toni (Antronette) Yancey has influenced and impacted community health and fitness in a number of profound ways! Her book is a must read for anyone interested in living a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Recently, at the First AME Church of Los Angeles, we incorporated a quick but effective fitness interlude into all three of our Sunday worship services. The enthusiastic response from our congregation was tremendous! Thank you, Dr. Yancey, for waking us up to the dangers of our sedentary lives and for awakening our desire to get into better physical shape."—Rev. Dr. John & Denise Hunter, Pastor and First Lady of First AME Church of Los Angeles, the White House-designated local lead agency for Michelle Obama's Let's Move LA

"Instant Recess is a necessary part of a complex solution to our society's epidemic of inactivity. It can work equally well in the corporate boardroom, school classroom, or for fans at a sporting event for that matter. It is a great place to start if we don't want to leave anyone behind. I'm all for breaking our national inertia with a musical beat and a smile on our faces."—Dave Winfield, National Baseball Hall of Fame 2001, Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor, San Diego Padres

"Dr. Yancey writes on a topic about which she is both passionate and knowledgeable. Doable in just about any setting, Instant Recess could get America moving again."—David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., 16th Surgeon General of the United States

"Instant Recess is an excellent, easy to read, informative book describing how we must all change our lifestyle patterns and incorporate activity into our day. Yancey poignantly shows why 'instant recesses' are needed by corporate Americans, educators, public health and medical professionals. This isn't just a simple how-to book, but also a how-come."—Francine Kaufman, Head of the Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles

"For the average person who continues to yo-yo between the hype of miracle weight loss gimmicks and the allure of fast food franchises, Instant Recess offers an easy and free solution to creating a healthier lifestyle."—Sharon Baucom, Medical Director of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for the State of Maryland

"A thoughtful and innovative approach to community-wide physical activity from a lay person's perspective. This book is well grounded in scientific evidence that is also contextualized in simple examples and in real life experiences people will be able to relate to."—Adrian Bauman, University of Sydney

"I've seen everyone from curmudgeonly researchers and uptight bureaucrats to former elite athletes to avowed non-exercisers sucked in by the warm, inclusive energy and ease of her approach to getting people physically active. Most are smiling, some outright laughing as they rediscover the joy of moving. Thankfully, Toni captures the essence of that joy in her book, along with the practical guidance necessary to help anyone start making physical activity a part of their life and their community again."—Mark Fenton, PBS television host and author of The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness

"I read Instant Recess and couldn’t help but jump for joy. Dr. Yancey’s got the recipe for success to help turn around the epidemic of inactivity in our country. Finally we have a book that shows Americans how to build that strong base of fitness, 10 minutes of hip hopping at a time. Now, if you’ll excuse me. It’s time for me to take my Instant Recess."—Pam Peeke MD, MPH, FACP, author of Body for Life for Women, Chief Medical Correspondent for Nutrition and Fitness, Discovery Health TV

"Through the San Diego Padres organization we've worked with Dr. Toni Yancey for nearly 4 years on various healthy eating and fitness related projects ... Dr. Yancey is an educated, dynamic, trusted and respected colleague who has a thorough knowledge of public health issues. Her knowledge, advocacy and connection to community service organizations across the country has been key. She's recruited a great number of them to enter the fight against childhood obesity by offering a wide variety of active lifestyles options. Influencing America to move towards healthy eating, better nutrition, and into her activity routine called Instant Recess is a significant and continuous task … It's a pleasure working with this former collegiate athlete, Ph.D. and public servant. We need more people like Dr. Toni Yancey combatting this nationwide health crisis."—David Winfield, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Co-Director at UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity

Community Mobilization Award, Center for Disease Control

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, American Library Association

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Podcast interview with Dr. Toni Yancy, author of Instant Recess

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