Book Review: Exercised

“There is more than health to not being dead”

The Socially Distanced Sports Bar recommended this a while back. Their chat about how schools destroy people’s interest in physical activity resonated with me so I thought I’d give this a spin.

I love a book that isn’t afraid to say that things are complicated. In every chapter Daniel Lieberman comes to this conclusion. Lieberman frames the science by busting some myths, I don’t think that works particularly well but the discussion of the anthropology, biology, evolution, etc is excellent. The science is very easy to follow (even for someone who last took Biology in 2010 at AS). There is a pretty strong narrative going from definitions, to evolution, to modern medicalised exercise, unfortunately it sort of peters out at the end. I think he could have cut the idea of myths.

Descriptions of optimising energy intake, energy expenditure, and procreation marry nicely with the last book I read (Human Compatible). A lot of current day people’s habits would be maladaptive in less calorie rich environments. A theme throughout the book is just how weird today is and how it’s really done a number on a lot of us.

Lieberman briefly covers different running techniques which aligns nicely with a history of jogging by Knowing Better that I watched a while back. I wondered if this book was a source for the video but it was published far after. I really enjoy these little indicators that the knowledge links up with other people and research, reassuring me that I’m not reading some crackpot.

I am trying to be more active and make it more consistent. I believe I work best when I understand the why & how of things I’m trying to achieve and I have a much better understanding of that now. Probably not a kick up the ass but a nice nudge in the right direction.