adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $31.50

Buy for $31.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2021 Daniel Lieberman (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Lieberman’s inquisitiveness as both a researcher and a fitful fitness adherent allows him a distinct vantage on the subject.... Drawing on his expertise and knowledge of the way evolutionary forces work, [Lieberman] takes ideas that have been spun and spun again, often based on shaky information, and cracks them open.... In addition to exorcising myths and detailing what kinds of exercise we’re good at, as well as why these particular activities matter for our physical well-being, Lieberman also gives us permission to be kind to ourselves if we’d rather not bother.... Most important, Lieberman doesn’t judge those who find exercising difficult, even after knowing that they should be doing it, because exercise still isn’t all that fun." (The New York Times)

"Exercised makes important progress in the research topic for which Mr. Lieberman himself has become best known - the physiology of human running...my favorite passage of the book concerns dancing. Dance in many societies is a physical activity connected to ritual, a highly social activity with deep symbolic meaning to its participants. It reminds us that beauty, joy and rites of passage are central to human life, and that physical activity can be exuberant and ecstatic.... I find Mr. Lieberman’s voice of moderation to be welcome in a world where barefoot running and paleo diets have become fads.... Instead of looking to a mythological view of our evolutionary past, we should be looking around us at a broader array of real humans, all of them moving - happily - through their lives. Getting Exercised is a start." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Riveting.... Highly appealing.... Lieberman begins a process of myth-busting about exercise.... An irresistible aspect of Exercised is Lieberman's firm stance that no shame or stigma be attached to those who find it challenging to sustain an exercise program.... Another exceptionally informative part of the book discusses the damage-and-repair cycle brought on by exercise. Lieberman explains more clearly than I've ever read what exercise does to the body, and how the body then begins to repair itself afterwards.... Lieberman makes a superb guide for anyone wishing to understand why it can be hard to commit to exercising, and why we should do it anyway." (NPR)

What listeners say about Exercised

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    608
  • 4 Stars
    130
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    491
  • 4 Stars
    95
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    8
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    491
  • 4 Stars
    97
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Chock Full of Cherrypicking and Contradiction

The description and 4 minute sample had me intrigued. Unfortunately, 9 hours in to this 13 hour tome, I finally rage quit this book.

The Author is an anthropologist and makes it clear early on that the only field of study worth a damn is his. Even through the deadpan, old man narrator (seriously, this guy sounds like Ben Stein) you can feel the contempt the author has for sports medicine and exercise science.

First red flag: In the introduction, the author scoffs at exercise studies claiming that the only people used in these experiments are Americans or Europeans, and that there isn't enough diversity in these scientific papers. The author then proceeds to cite only he and his colleagues experience with a single tribe of hunter/gatherers known as the Hadza as the proof of his hypothesis.

Speaking of "proof" Second Red Flag: The author doesn't really make a case one way or another whether exercise is good or bad for people, but repeatedly talks about how the Hadza tribe walks almost continuously to hunt and gather... except when he claims that the Hadza hardly do anything other that sit...

The book is filled with humble-brag stories about how we went on all kinds of excursions and did all kinds of research (which involved animal cruelty and misogyny) and then claims that we humans are not meant to exercise, but in fact are meant to work physically... again, except when he tells us that humans were designed to be lazy and store energy.

Summation: The Author doesn't posit anything concrete except "I'm an anthropologist and I know better that all other scientists because I walked with a hunter gatherer tribe that one time".

Returning this book as soon as I am done with this review.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book to listen to in the gym!

This book is not only filled to the brim with the latest research on why exercise is good for you, but it’s also highly inspirational and motivational - the perfect book to listen to while doing cardio!

The narrator sounds like he’s either half-asleep or half-dead, but it didn’t detract enough from the book to warrant a lower rating. If anything, it just requires a bit more focus and attention to keep from zoning out. Would’ve been considerably more enjoyable (not to mention more respectful to the listener) to have gone with a narrator who sounds more lively, motivated, and engaged.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic analysis of our evolution in regards to physical activity

When I first heard of this book I thought it was going to be a great analysis on exercise that I could use to promote a healthy lifestyle for myself and others. While I was right, the in depth analysis of human behavior and it’s development in regards to physical activity transcends this book past being another “exercise mantra”. It has even helped me address blocks in my own study of human societies and how we evolved to function the way we do.

P.S. Audible is my way of enjoying exercise. The chance to take in more knowledge while using the time prioritized for exercising is my motivation.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well-written. intellectually stimulating.

This is a great Audible listen or read. This Harvard professor explores exercise from an evolutionary perspective. Though we were not designed to exercise, it is beneficial for maintaining good health in a post hunter-gathering society.

Humans are by nature walkers, endurance runners, and carriers.
10,000 steps per day is the consensus view on the amount of activity we should be engaged in, including by exercising.
150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly is suggested.

Aerobic exercise helps keep the heart strong, arteries clear, supple, and unclogged, and resting blood pressure low. It burns harmful organ fat, improves the body's ability to use sugar, lowers the level of inflammation, beneficially adjusts the level of hormones, and stimulates the immune system.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) increases the heart's ability to pump blood efficiently, making its chambers larger and more elastic. HIIT stresses the cardiovascular system more acutely than moderate intensity aerobic exercise. It can yield rapid, dramatic benefits.

Multiple physical activity studies show that physical activity reverses the deleterious effects of aging.

Persistent physical inactivity along with smoking and excess body fat are the biggest 3 factors that influence the likelihood and duration of the major illnesses that kill most people who live in industrial westernized contexts.

Some exercise is better than none and more exercise is better.
A combination of exercise types such as HIIT cardio, aerobics, and weightlifting may be the best prescription for good health and preventing cardiovascular disease.

A well-written, thoughtful, enjoyable read, with smatterings of humor, replete with anecdotes and scientific research.























7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A good book, especially the layperson.

This book has good quality information and a practical approach to overcoming impediments to exercise. However, I found the Author's emphasis on Mythbusting distracting and unnecessary. many of these myths seemed to me little more than strawmen or a case of splitting hairs. I also didn't care for the narrator's inflections and would prefer to have read the book myself. Overall, however, the book is a worthwhile read.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too Christian, creepy, and monotone

really didn't care for the Christian skew of this. Once I got to the tortoise being burned alive, I stopped. I can't even watch movies where animals are harmed, so that was traumatizing. Men really are obsessed with watching animals suffer and die, then sharing all that info to others. We don't want it!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been shorter and more succinct

Could have been more succinct and shorter. Too many unnecessary details. The 2nd half was better, and hence the 3-stars. The narrator had a robotic voice. Could have chosen a better narrator.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The narrator is all wrong

I heard the actual author in an interview before getting the Audible version. He's what you would expect: a smart, slightly nerdy Harvard professor. The narrator for this book sounds nothing like that, to the point of being intolerable for me. It's like he narrated this book between creating ads for sleep aids and oatmeal. Returned the book after a couple of chapters.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Its all worksouts

I'm a biostatistician that focuses on healthy aging. This book encapsulates my current beliefs on exercise better than I could have described myself.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DD
  • 01-17-21

excellent survey for understanding the essence

he has done an excellent job in summarising the substance of this field and the practical application as it would be applied to society and our individual selves. You will have a great understanding of the why and how when you finish this book In addition to the importance for all To know.

2 people found this helpful