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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The myth-busting science behind our modern attitudes to exercise: what our bodies really need, why it matters and its effects on health and wellbeing.

In industrialised nations, our sedentary lifestyles have contributed to skyrocketing rates of obesity and diseases like diabetes. A key remedy, we are told, is exercise - voluntary physical activity for the sake of health. However, most of us struggle to stay fit, and our attitudes to exercise are plagued by misconceptions, finger-pointing and anxiety.

But, as Daniel Lieberman shows in Exercised, the first book of its kind by a leading scientific expert, we never evolved to exercise. 

We are hardwired for moderate exertion throughout each day, not triathlons or treadmills. Drawing on over a decade of high-level scientific research and eye-opening insights from evolutionary biology and anthropology, Lieberman explains precisely how exercise can promote health; debunks persistent myths about sitting, speed, strength and endurance; and points the way towards more enjoyable and physically active living in the modern world.

©2020 Daniel Lieberman (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Endlessly fascinating and full of surprises. Easily one of my books of the year." (Bill Bryson)

"Myth-busting, illuminating, brilliant - Lieberman will completely change the way you think about your body." (Professor Alice Roberts, presenter of Our Incredible Human Journey

What listeners say about Exercised

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Absolutely fantastic for any movement teachers

And anyone interested to find out more about how our bodies evolved in terms of daily movement. I’m a yoga teacher and a personal trainer and daily I come across people who struggle to exercise and blame themselves for it. Having read that book, your entire thinking process changes. You will choose to exercise, knowing it’s benefits, especially as we age, instead of forcing yourself to do so. That’s the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Understanding how movement was and should be part of our everyday life, helps to get a better grasp on how our body works. We literally need movement in order to thrive. It’s not about being constantly on a go but incorporating more movement into our lives. It doesn’t have to be complicated. ‘Keep it up as you age’

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Interesting to know the science behind exercise

Facts and presentation were Interesting but I didn’t warm to the narrator’s voice at all. Found it bearable at 1.1x. Not sure why US publishers find people with low monotone voices that are so hard to listen to.

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An honest Appraisal

I liked how the book starts by questioning the need to exercise. Why Hunter gatherers don’t. Basically, technology has improved (made more exciting) our lives but brings with it a lot of baggage that is bad for our health.
Definitely worth listening to.

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Fabulous informative listen

I really enjoyed this book. Several people have commented that they did not warm to the narrator’s voice. He does speak quite slowly but once I was used to this i stopped noticing it and enjoyed the book greatly. It is a very interesting listen and the book is well structured. I would recommend it to anyone interested in health and well-being.

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Very run focused.

Very interesting book, mainly biased towards runners and running though.

A fair few questions left unanswered too.

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Excellent advice.

Excellent advice that we all know put in a well packaged simple to understand book.

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Outstanding

The narrator took some getting used to initially, however the content of the book shone out.
I am a Personal Trainer and the way that the Author wrote this book is outstanding.
I learned many things and have started to listen to the Author’s other book ‘The Story of the Human Body’; which is equally fascinating.

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Scientifically sound - but like a list of excuses

The book is interesting and seems scientifically sound to me. Naturally, I don't agree with everything said but on the whole it's an informative read. This book also captures the overly soft, lazy and excuse ridden culture omnipresent in many Western countries (especially the USA). At points it's hard to listen to and seems like a list of excuses. The author's description of his preparations for a marathon when it was cold and raining are pathetic.

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Best info you can find on exercise

Brilliant author, giving a really in depth view of all things related to exercise and its effects on human health.
The narrator alas, sounds a bit tired for such an exciting book, in my opinion it required a more energetic read. But the content here is priceless.

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I found it fascinating.

This book is a great look at humans and how they relate to physical activity by comparing hunter gatherer tribes with post industrial humans.

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  • steveandtoni
  • 19-06-21

Essential reading for every human being

An outstanding book

So good that I bought the Kindle version too so that I can go back to reread sections