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29Aug

Exercised by Daniel Lieberman review – fitness myths exploded

Does exercise help you lose weight? Does jogging wreck your knees? … An evolutionary biologist provides entertainment and helpful tips

Mark Twain once said that he got all the exercise he needed acting as a pallbearer at the funerals of his friends who exercised regularly. Similarly, Donald Trump reportedly thinks the human body is like a battery with a limited store of energy, and so chooses not to use up any of it on exercise. This may be the only thing the two men have in common.

Suspicion of exercise, though, is entirely natural, as the evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman points out in this entertaining and informative book. When interviewed, modern hunter-gatherer peoples are mystified as to why westerners should be obsessed with running long distances and lifting heavy weights when they don’t have to.

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