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Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding
Tuesday, April 20, 2021|4:30 pm - 6:00 pm UTC
A Discussion for Judges with the Author Daniel E. Lieberman
Moderated by Supreme Judicial Court Justice Scott L. Kafker
From the Publisher: “If exercise is healthy (so good for you!), why do many people dislike or avoid it? These engaging stories and explanations will revolutionize the way you think about exercising—not to mention sitting, sleeping, sprinting, weight lifting, playing, fighting, walking, jogging, and even dancing.
“Strikes a perfect balance of scholarship, wit, and enthusiasm.” —Bill Bryson, New York Times best-selling author of The Body
*If we are born to walk and run, why do most of us take it easy whenever possible?
*Does running ruin your knees?
*Should we do weights, cardio, or high-intensity training?
*Is sitting really the new smoking?
*Can you lose weight by walking?
*And how do we make sense of the conflicting, anxiety-inducing information about rest, physical activity, and exercise with which we are bombarded?
In this myth-busting book, Daniel Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a pioneering researcher on the evolution of human physical activity, tells the story of how we never evolved to exercise—to do voluntary physical activity for the sake of health. Using his own research and experiences throughout the world, Lieberman recounts without jargon how and why humans evolved to walk, run, dig, and do other necessary and rewarding physical activities while avoiding needless exertion.
Exercised is entertaining and enlightening but also constructive. As our increasingly sedentary lifestyles have contributed to skyrocketing rates of obesity and diseases such as diabetes, Lieberman audaciously argues that to become more active we need to do more than medicalize and commodify exercise.
Drawing on insights from evolutionary biology and anthropology, Lieberman suggests how we can make exercise more enjoyable, rather than shaming and blaming people for avoiding it. He also tackles the question of whether you can exercise too much, even as he explains why exercise can reduce our vulnerability to the diseases mostly likely to make us sick and kill us.”
Daniel E. Lieberman is Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences and a professor of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He received degrees from Harvard and Cambridge, and taught at Rutgers University and George Washington University before joining Harvard University as a Professor in 2001. He is a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Lieberman studies and teaches how and why the human body is the way it is, and how our evolutionary history affects health and disease. In his research he combines experimental biomechanics, anatomy, and physiology both in the lab and in the field (primarily Kenya and Mexico). He is best known for his work on the evolution of running and other kinds of physical activities such as walking and throwing, but is also well known for studying the evolution of the human head.