This highly engaging, landmark work, a natural history of exercise--by the author of the best seller The Story of the Human Body--seeks to answer a fundamental question: were you born to run or rest?
The first three parts of Exercised roughly follow the evolutionary story of human physical activity and inactivity, even as each chapter shatters a particular myth about exercise. Because we cannot understand physical activity without understanding its absence, Part One begins with physical inactivity. What are our bodies doing when we take it easy, including when we sit or sleep? Part Two explores physical activities that require speed, strength, and power, such as sprinting, lifting and fighting. Part Three surveys physical activity that involves endurance, such as walking, running, or dancing, as well as their effect on aging. Part Four considers how anthropological and evolutionary approaches can help us exercise better in the modern world. How can we more effectively manage to exercise, and in what ways? To what extent, how and why do different types and durations of exercise help prevent or treat the major diseases that are likely to make us sick and kill us?