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August 31, 2022

Pro-athletes are entertainers. Being healthy means something else.

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Up Next ► Harvard professor debunks the biggest exercise myths youtu.be/n6AwsVGJDOY

There's a cost to keeping your body running. For every five breaths you take, one is paying for your brain, one is paying for your liver, and another is paying for your muscles. 

On average, your body spends about 1,400 calories per day just keeping you alive, even if you're doing nothing else. This helps explain why we tend to avoid unnecessary physical activity. 

For the ancestors, finding food could be incredibly difficult, so they didn't waste energy. Today, even though have energy sources ready at the fingertips, we still naturally protect how we spend that energy.

Read the video transcript ► bigthink.com/series/explain-it-like-im-smart/physical-activity/

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About Daniel Lieberman:
Daniel Lieberman is Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences and a professor of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He received degrees from Harvard and Cambridge, and taught at Rutgers University and George Washington University before joining Harvard University as a Professor in 2001. He is a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Lieberman loves teaching and has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers, many in journals such as Nature, Science, and PNAS, as well as three popular books, The Evolution of the Human Head (2011), The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease (2013), and Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding (2020).

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Read more of the stories on physical activity:
Do we really need to walk 10,000 steps a day?
► bigthink.com/health/10-000-steps-a-day/
This molecule may be the “secret sauce” of exercise — but it won’t work as a pill
► bigthink.com/health/lac-phe-exercise-pill/
Does sex count as exercise? Scientists describe the physical demands of intercourse
► bigthink.com/health/does-sex-count-as-exercise/

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