Book: Exercised, Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding

Book: Exercised, Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding

It’s natural to not want to exercise; but we grow old without it

This is a good follow on to Lieberman’s excellent book The Story of the Human Body.  He points out medicalizing and commercializing exercise through gear, apps, exercise prescriptions, HGH and testosterone; well none of it has helped.  But he starts with a good dose of compassion.  We aren’t evolved to exercise per se.  Our beloved ancestors moved for two reasons.  First because it was needed to survive and second, it was fun; dancing, playing, etc.  But given the chance, as he observed at a fitness convention, even fitness professionals prefer the escalator over the stairs.   I would say the takeaway is really this.  The reality is that we aren’t actually doing much that meaningfully extends life if your adjusted mortality risk is worsening; rather your mortality risk is reduced by 50% if you stay active as you age and put off or eliminate senescence from your life. It is truly a personal journey toward well being but by making exercise necessary and fun we can maintain nearly the same health for most of our lives.  What he doesn’t emphasize is how much modern American society is built against health.

We don’t need to worry so much about sitting;  hunter gatherers sit about as much as we do.  What we should do, is more fundamental, like find a way to preserve the low to no commute many of us have enjoyed over the past year and to have more fun moving; with your family and friends so that your hardly notice it because its baked into the fun.  While this book is great exercise and health remains a largely individual journey but is certainly one worth travelling.

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