Gretchen Reynolds joins The Washington Post as a wellness columnist


Announcement from Wellness Editor Tara Parker-Pope:

I’m delighted to announce that Gretchen Reynolds will be joining The Washington Post as a columnist covering exercise science for our expanded wellness desk.

Gretchen comes to The Post after 16 years writing for the New York Times, where she redefined fitness coverage by looking beyond traditional exercise advice and focusing on the science of movement, the perils of inactivity, and the research behind short, intense workouts. Her columns have taken readers out of the gym, explaining why fidgeting can be good for you, how exercise can boost the effects of coronavirus or flu vaccines, the best time of day to exercise, how movement can enhance an aging brain and how an “awe” walk can do wonders for your well-being.

Her popular column “Phys Ed” began as a magazine feature at the Times in 2006 and later moved to the newspaper’s Well section, where it gained millions of followers and regularly topped the Times’s most popular lists. One of Gretchen’s best-known stories was about a hotel-room workout created by two exercise scientists. She dubbed it “the scientific 7-minute workout,” and it quickly became a global sensation, spurring a number of new apps and ushering in an era of scientific study into high-intensity workouts and short bursts of exercise.

Gretchen is the author of “The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer,” which became a New York Times nonfiction best seller and was translated into almost a dozen languages. In addition to the Times Sunday Magazine, Gretchen’s work has appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Popular Science, and numerous other publications. She is a frequent guest on radio shows and podcasts, including “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “The Brian Lehrer Show” in New York and “Radio Times” from WHYY in Philadelphia.

Prior to writing for The Times, Gretchen was a senior editor at Outside Magazine, where she oversaw the magazine’s health and fitness service sections. She also served as a senior editor and writer for Chicago Magazine, where she covered crime, politics and travel as well as research into cancer, genomics and longevity.

Gretchen is a three-time National Magazine Award finalist and in 2001 shared the National Magazine Award for service journalism for a National Geographic package on how to survive in the wilderness. She was recognized by the Chicago Bar Association for co-authoring a feature story that led to the release from prison of three Mexican immigrants wrongly convicted of murder.

Gretchen graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she majored in English and political science.

Gretchen lives in Santa Fe, N.M., with her husband, a fine artist, and her three dogs, Archie, Finn and Flicka (a mini Australian shepherd, golden retriever and Aussie-border collie mix). Their son is completing his PhD in biomechanics in Helsinki. When she has time, she enjoys trail running, mountain biking, hiking and racing 5Ks and half marathons with her dogs, who are much faster than she is.

Gretchen’s first day is today.


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