... riveting ... 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 ... written in a warm, sometimes dryly amusing tone that's highly appealing. Colorful personal stories enliven the book ... 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.
... sweeping, vigorous ... There’s a dry, didactic quality to Exercised; Lieberman’s a top-flight scientist and cogent writer, but the book lacks the stylistic spark of a Robert Sapolsky or David Eagleman. And yet Lieberman’s clarity never wavers. When the book shifts to prescriptive sections, he readily acknowledges the data is more suggestive than certain ... He’s particularly good at busting myths, organizing chapters around debunking assumptions about what constitutes fitness and health ... His answers to physiological questions dispel lazy platitudes...They also inspire ... If Exercised occasionally reads with the tone of your stern-voiced mother, wagging her finger and imploring you to eat your vegetables and jog around the block, then all to the good. Lieberman has accomplished his mission. But the science beneath his arguments is revelatory, with thrilling implications for evolutionary biology. Written in a brisk prose, with ample graphs, Exercised is an excellent compendium on the broad medical advantages of exercise and a roadmap out of our pandemic to better health.
Books about exercise are nothing new — especially not at this time of year. But Exercised is different from the usual scrum, in that its objective is not to sell a diet or fitness plan ... Lieberman’s inquisitiveness as both a researcher and a fitful fitness adherent allows him a distinct vantage on the subject, not just that of a curious layman or alarm sounder ... Instead, Lieberman, drawing on his expertise and knowledge of the way evolutionary forces work, takes ideas that have been spun and spun again, often based on shaky information, and cracks them open ... Sure, Lieberman pokes fun at the pomp and circumstance of a typical Iron Man competition, but he also explains why humans can be really good at exercising for long periods of time ... Lieberman mostly avoids getting too technical for nonscientists, and scatters the book with odd or fun details to keep the narrative moving along ... 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 — and I say that as someone who has run multiple ultramarathons without anyone demanding that I do so.