Exercise myths busted: Practical steps to sustain your health

Exercise myths busted: Practical steps to sustain your health


Admit it, exercise isn't everyone's favorite pastime. Of course, our ancestors weren't hitting the gym by choice — our evolution has wired us to stay active, and this natural activity actually slows down the aging process.

The good news is that you can achieve the benefits without feeling like you're "exercising."

In today’s episode, Prof. Daniel Lieberman debunks exercise myths. He also teaches us how exercise impacts our health and how learning from our evolution can unlock the secrets of a longer life.

Daniel Lieberman is a paleoanthropologist at Harvard University. He’s the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences and a professor in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. He’s best known for his research on the evolution of the human mind and the human body.

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00:00     Introduction

01:34    Quickfire questions

03:22    The  Rudyard Kipling view of our ancestors

04:54    Is exercise good for us and why do most of us hate it?

06:19    For millions of years, people were physically active for 2 reasons only…

15:38    Our bodies have evolved to save calroies and preserve energy

18:31    It’s normal to think your life is normal

22:27    We need to exercise because we don’t move enough!

34:00   Diet, exercise and sleep can prevent these diseases…

39:54    The active Grandparent hypothesis

43:10    Study of men matriculating as undergraduates at Harvard University

49:44    How can we enjoy keeping physically active?

01:00:00   The importance of weights exercise

01:06:43   Summary

Mentioned in today’s episode: 

Three generations of HSPH researchers explore health benefits of exercise from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Stanford marshmallow test experiment, a summary from Simply Psychology

We also mention Daniel’s book Exercised: The Science of Physical Activity, Rest and Health, and you can find it here.

Episode transcripts are available here.

Is there a nutrition topic you’d like us to explore? Email us at podcast@joinzoe.com, and we’ll do our best to cover it. 

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