Saturday, 4th December 2021

Get off the Couch, Before it’s too Late

New Book

This week I am going to tell you about my new book, just published and due to be officially launched on 8th Dec.

The title is “Get off the Couch, Before it’s too late!” Subtitled “All the whys and wherefores of exercise“. I have been hatching the book for the past five years and it has caused me plenty of problems – especially latterly when I have had a difficulty with distribution through Amazon (see below). Throughout there are illustrations by the very gifted and talented artist/cartoonist, Toni Goffe.

What’s it all about?

Exercise and physical activity of course! Like most of us, you probably know you need to keep fit – but just why is it so vital? And what sort of exercise should you be doing – how often, how hard and for how long? Perhaps you feel you are fit already – but how much exercise are you really taking? What are the consequences of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles?

I have tried to answer these questions and also to give a lot of information about the ideal frequency, intensity and duration. How good are the government guidelines? Can you take too little exercise or maybe too much? What are the ill effects of exercise, particularly apparently excessive exertion? How does exercise affect the body and physical fitness?

The benefits of physical activity

This book explains  how exercise affects our bodies and its crucial role in preventing and treating many of the conditions that beset us as we advance in age – obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and more. At a time when the previously steady increase in life expectancy across the nation has stalled and the period of poor health and dependency at the end of life has lengthened, it is a wake-up call for every one of us, young or old, to understand the importance of an active lifestyle.


Major benefits of exercise include the prevention and treatment all those chronic conditions mentioned above – the so-called non-communicable diseases. Being physically fit also protects us against some infections.

The Covid pandemic has thrown a stark light on the vulnerability of those who take too little exercise. Most of those who have become very unwell or died have been overweight, unfit and/or suffering one or more degenerative diseases of old age – all the long-term results of being inactive.

Frailty and dependence

Frailty is summed up as being old and feeble. However it is not an inevitable consequence of getting older but a consequence of leading an insufficiently active life. The toxic combination of weak muscles and the degenerative diseases of later life conspires to make many old people so decrepit that they can no longer care for themselves – it need not to have been so. People with a sedentary lifestyle spend on average 20% of their life with some form of disability or chronic disease. For those who exercise regularly the figure is nearer 5%.

Never has it been more important to make regular exercise an essential part of our daily lives. In doing so, we can not only help prevent the onset of disease and frailty, but also increase longevity and allow ourselves to look forward to a healthy and enjoyable old age.

So make a resolution: get off the couch – and do it now, before it’s too late.

Where to get the book

The book is available at Waterstone’s, at Oxley’s bookshop in Alresford, at the Alton Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre and directly from me here. It is also available at Amazon USA and Amazon Australia. It can be bought at Amazon uk but only if the following ISBN number is used in the Search bar (I suggest cut and paste)
not the title or author’s name which take you to a cancelled version! Hopefully this glitch will be corrected soon.

RRP is £14.99 but there are discounts at Alton Cardiac Rehab Centre and through me.


6 responses to “Get off the Couch, Before it’s too Late”

  1. Written by a world expert. Very good summary of the evidence. Covers important topics. Well written.

    Key messages are that regular physical activity can be very enjoyable, has many health benefits and should be for all. People of all abilities, ages, ethnicities, genders and incomes should be encouraged to engage in physical activities.

  2. Richard Malthouse says:

    Congratulations on the launch today Hugh.

    I’d also like to order a copy of the book from you.

  3. Ian Fleming says:

    Looking forward to reading my copy and then promoting the book more widely!

  4. Numa says:

    Congratulations on your book, Hugh. I’d like to order one via you by phone. I can call your landline.

  5. Ben says:

    Well done Hugh! A labour of love come to fruition – congratulations!

  6. Christopher Francis says:

    Hi Hugh,

    I would like to purchase a copy please from you, what do I need to do.

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