In Praise of Walking A New Scientific Exploration PDF

In Praise of Walking A New Scientific Exploration Walking upright on two feet is a uniuely human skill It defines us as a speciesIt 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 systemWalking 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 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 speciesAs 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 This book irritated me to no end after the first chapter which ended with a remark upon how the obesity rate in different countries was best predicted by the difference in the number of steps taken per day by women and men We know that in many countries women are confined to the house And this makes men fatter too Poetic justice and worth devoting a whole chapter to But it ended with that remark and that was also the end of the chapter And it went downhill from there No attention at all to the specific problems one half of the population has to deal with when wanting to enjoy a walk from catcalling to assault So much attention in the book to ‘safety’ which to him means shielding walkways from motorized traffic but nothing about safety for women such as providing lighting under underpasses He praises city parks like Central Park in New York but not a word about Need I go on This whole book is a nice illustration of how detrimental to science it is when that field is reserved to men only as it has been for the longest time Two stars for the sheer amount of research and information that went into this book However for a book labelled as popular science it really is hard work For readers with no background in science I think this book may not be very accessible This defeats the purpose of the popular science genre The writer's style is very rambling and overly wordy I had to force myself to finish The moral of the book is walk I really hoped to be able to recommend this book to friends and family but I'm sorry I just can't I always knew I liked to walk Now I know why Found this really tedious and perhaps it was just the style of the author but the data presentation seemed uite tenuous at times This is of a science book than an entertaining read about the pleasures of walking What the book does reveal is that walking is really good for our bodies minds even our soul no matter how old or young we happen to be Walking it reveals is one of the most important human traits which separates us from so many other creatures in uite profound ways If you are not walking enough of an analytical bent then this is the book for you It could lead you towards a healthier happier life It might also help you find out much about local area provide you with a good excuse to make new friends A slim volume that seems lightweight at first dedicated to praising something that in my biased mind anybody with any sense should already be doing O'Mara digs a little deeper however providing a clear guide to a series of studies that suggest the mechanisms by which walking benefits body brain mood and creativityIt could just be my confirmation bias talking but this clarifies the benefits I always felt i was getting out of walking I'm also profoundly glad we now live in a city that is built for walkers and that the best path to my local grocery and library runs through a forest I had high expectations of this book which unfortunately were unfulfilledI wasn’t able to finish it partly due to having to return it to the library before I had got through it partly because what I did manage to read was so boring one long chapter on HOW to walk being practically or should I say totally incomprehensible to me at any rateThere were promising chapters to judge from their titles “Walking the City” “Creative Walking” and “Social Walking” I should probably have skipped trying to get through the “how to walk” chapter to get to these other chapters but I’m not good at skipping Potential readers are hereby forewarned so they don’t make the same mistake as I didAs it is sadly I can’t recommend the book 35 stars Sorry I was hoping to really like this book but I just didn’t find it all that interesting Boring is actually the word I would use and I feel like I normally have a pretty high tolerance for that The last two chapters titled Creative Walking and Social Walking were the best part part of the book in my humble opinion

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