In Praise of Walking by Shane O’Mara

Do you make sure you’re getting up and moving a few times a day? Even just a good 15 minute walk around your neighborhood or local area can be so refreshing and invigorating!

Did you know that there’s a reason that something simple like a walk can make us feel so much better?

It’s true! Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara explores this phenomenon in his book In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration and illuminates the joys, health benefits, and mechanics of walking.

Walking is not only good for our muscles and posture, it also helps to protect and repair our organs and can slow the aging of our brains. That’s a side effect we’ll take all day long! Do you ever get ideas or solutions for a problem you’ve been having while out for a walk? That’s because the motion of walking itself helps us to think more creatively, lowering our stress levels and improving our mood.

Shane O’Mara is Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin – the University of Dublin and uses his years of research to help us see the benefits this uniquely human skill provides our bodies and brains. In the book, he takes us through the evolutionary origins of walking – from life forms on the ocean floor to new findings from cutting-edge research.

He also showcases how the brain and nervous system give us a unique skill to balance, cut through crowds, bond through shared walking experiences, and even how we have our own “inner GPS” system.

Reader warning: This book is a bit more on the technical side and a deep exploration of the actual neuroscience behind walking and how it connects with us. It’s a delightful book but be prepared for some science (yay!).