In the span of a few pages, anthropologist Daniel Lieberman and biologist Dennis Bramble explained how human physiology is better suited for distance running than almost any other animal’s. And what’s more is that running was critical in allowing our ancient ancestors to out-compete other predators for prey. Running wasn’t an invention of modern fitness culture, it was as natural and uniquely human as the capacity for abstract thought.
I had a similar reaction to learning about Lieberman and Bramble's research, although my exposure was through Born to Run, which is a fantastic read on its own.
Prof. Lieberman is one of the most learned individuals I've ever had the pleasure to encounter. If you'd like to learn more about his research and thinking, I highly recommend his The Story of the Human Body.