Brain researcher Shane O'Mara gives a new twist to the literature on walking.
Walking is something we all take for granted, little thinking how this unique ability is actually a complex feat. Author Shane O'Mara is a neuroscientist at Trinity College, Dublin, and the first half of In Praise of Walking concentrates on how the brain and body works together to take those seemingly easy steps.
The second half of O'Mara's book devotes itself to the physical, social, health and even creative aspects of walking. It's no surprise that walking provides health benefits galore, what may surprise are its cognitive benefits. Research has shown that the part of the brain used for memory and learning actually grows extra cells when we exercise. O'Mara also includes research that demonstrates how walking can help with depression and foster creating thinking (he cites famous literary walkers who thought up their greatest ideas while walking).
In Praise of Walking is a convincing primer on all the benefits of walking and will inspire the reader to drop all they are doing, put on some walking shoes and get out the door.
In Praise of Walking, by Shane O'Mara. Published by Jonathan Cape $35
Review by Chris Saliba
North Melbourne Books