In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration

In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration

by Shane O'Mara

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A hymn to walking, the mechanical magic at the core of our humanity.

In this captivating book, neuroscientist Shane O’Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits walking confers on our bodies and brains, and to appreciate the advantages of this uniquely human skill. From walking’s evolutionary origins, traced back millions of years to life forms on the ocean floor, to new findings from cutting-edge research, he reveals how the brain and nervous system give us the ability to balance, weave through a crowded city, and run our “inner GPS” system. Walking is good for our muscles and posture; it helps to protect and repair organs, and can slow or turn back the aging of our brains. With our minds in motion we think more creatively, our mood improves, and stress levels fall. Walking together to achieve a shared purpose is also a social glue that has contributed to our survival as a species.

As our lives become increasingly sedentary, O’Mara makes the case that we must start walking again—whether it’s up a mountain, down to the park, or simply to school and work. In Praise of Walking illuminates the joys, health benefits, and mechanics of walking, and reminds us to get out of our chairs and discover a happier, healthier, more creative self.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393652093
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/12/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 93,178
File size: 746 KB

About the Author

Shane O'Mara is professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin. He is also the author of Why Torture Doesn’t Work and A Brain for Business—A Brain for Life. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Why Walking Is Good For You 6

2 Walking out of Africa 29

3 How to Walk: The Mechanics 55

4 How to Walk: Where Are You Going? 77

5 Walking the City 99

6 A Balm for Body and Brain 123

7 Creative Walking 145

8 Social Walking 165

Afterword 181

Acknowledgements 185

Notes 189

Index 213

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