ARLINGTON - Tis' the season to be happy and joyous, but for many people this time of year often leads to overeating, exercising less and feeling the pressure to be perfect.
"As the holidays approach, people overindulge and make New Year's resolutions to get fit and lose pounds," says Ben Agger, UT Arlington sociologist and author of the new book, "Body Problems: Running and Living Long in a Fast-Food Society." The book is published by Routledge USA.
"Body Problems" may be the perfect stocking stuffer because it analyzes food, health and body problems sociologically, in non-academic language, and connects this analysis to the practical steps readers can take to live a different life.
Agger says, "This different life involves uniting body and mind as people view exercise, especially running and walking, not only as a means to an end – weight loss – but as a way of finding meaning in their hurried and often unsatisfying lives."
People no longer need to be captive to what Agger calls "body industries" such as the pharmaceutical, fashion and weight-loss industries that make them dependent and cost them money. There are books on how to lose weight and run a marathon but no books, until Agger's, that delve into how people can reduce alienation in their daily lives by lacing up their running shoes.
Also considered in "Body Problems," are people who engage in extreme exercise such as running across the continent and across the Sahara desert, and who indulge in barefoot running. Agger's takeaway message is that everyone can become an athlete, heal their broken hearts and mend their ailing bodies.
Agger is one of the many prolific writers and researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington, a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate institution of nearly 33,000 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.