Daniel Lieberman has just returned from his morning run when we meet via Zoom, which means that his cells will be undergoing the “afterburn”. The term is used to describe a heightened metabolic state that can endure for hours after physical exertion. Dozens of repair mechanisms are said to kick in, at a microscopic level, to reverse some of the biological damage that accumulates with age. As he sits in his home office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it seems fitting that Lieberman, a lithe 56-year-old Harvard professor and avid marathon runner with a resting heartbeat in the forties, should be found in this restorative condition.
Over the past two decades, few academics have done more to shape the way the western world views athleticism. Lieberman studies
World news – GB – Lie back, take it easy – Daniel Lieberman, author of Exercised, on why we were born to be lazy