Length: 224 Pages
'INFORMATIVE AND PERSUASIVE ENOUGH TO ROUSE THE MOST ARDENT COUCH POTATO' (NEW SCIENTIST)
IRISH TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER
Walking upright on two feet is a uniquely human skill. It defines us as a species.
It enabled us to walk out of Africa and to spread as far as Alaska and Australia. It freed our hands and freed our minds. We put one foot in front of the other without thinking – yet how many of us know how we do that, or appreciate the advantages it gives us? In this hymn to walking, neuroscientist Shane O’Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits it confers on our bodies and minds.
In Praise of Walking celebrates this miraculous ability. Incredibly, it is a skill that has its evolutionary origins millions of years ago, under the sea. And the latest research is only now revealing how the brain and nervous system performs the mechanical magic of balancing, navigating a crowded city, or running 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 ageing 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, we risk all this. We must start walking again, whether it’s up a mountain, down to the park, or simply to school and work. We, and our societies, will be better for it.
SUNDAY INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE WEEK
AGreatRead and ArgosyBooks BOOK OF THE MONTH
Length: 224 Pages
"Fascinating ... O’Mara argues [walking] is intimately connected to our bodies, our brains, and ultimately how we exist as a species"
"In Praise of Walking is both informative and persuasive enough to rouse the most ardent couch potato – perhaps saving humanity before our lifestyle consumes our brains completely"
"Convincing and compelling ... In Praise of Walking is peppered with insights about everything from 19th-century poets and flâneurs to modern-day experiments with subjects playing video games in fMRI scanners"
"Walking makes us healthier, happier and brainier ... [O'Mara] knows this not only through personal experience, but from cold, hard data"
"Full of insights… an accessible and thought-provoking discussion of walking as a key to human success"
"A book that will leave you itching to go out for a good old-fashioned stroll"
"A fascinating new book that examines the multitudinous benefits of this form of locomotion"
"Like a poem to walking… [and] the science that might help convince planners to prioritise walking as a means of getting around"
Forget apples. A walk a day really will keep the doctor away"
"[In Praise of Walking] it provides an antidote to the many miseries that can accumulate because of our modern, sedentary lifestyle"