The Magic of Walking, Your Guide to a Balanced Purposeful Life
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THE MAGIC OF WALKING: YOUR GUIDE TO A BALANCED, PURPOSEFUL LIFE, PUBLISHED: July, 2021
PUBLISHER: Susan Sommer & Associates
ISB N 978-1-776764-0-7
My new book, The Magic of Walking: Your Guide to a Balanced, Purposeful Life, is part memoir of my life-long walking journey and part evidence-based tools and strategies for walking for physical, mental, and spiritual health for all ages and stages of life. To deal with the stress and anxiety of COVID-19, I registered to walk the 778 kilometre el Camino de Santiago, virtually, in June, 2020. I walked 15,000 steps a day in downtown Toronto for four months -through neighbourhoods, ravines, trails, and waterfront - and received my gorgeous medal one month before my 76th birthday.
The Magic of Walking: Your Guide to a Balanced, Purposeful Life was written after I completed the virtual el Camino de Santiago and includes my memoir and photographs of my walking journey, from overweight, unathletic child to walking two, 7 ½ hour Marathons and 33 other races after the age of 60. It includes 30 ""steps"" to walking for physical activity; mental clarity and emotional strength; and spiritual strength and to connect with nature. The book also provides evidence-based tools from the University of Toronto, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education and the Art of Living Foundation; real-life lessons and stories to keep your mind, body, and spirit strong; and journaling, photography, and Vision Board ideas. I am the co-author of two other successful books on health and fitness: Power Source for Women: Proven Fitness Strategies, Tools, and Success Stories for Women 45+ (2010) and Love Your Body…Embrace Your Life! (2016).
Review by Michelle Fred » 19 Sep 2021
4 out of 4 stars
When people think of exercise and physical activity, they rarely think of walking. In The Magic of Walking: Your Guide to a Balanced, Purposeful Life, Susan Sommers shows her readers how to transform this mundane locomotive movement into a powerhouse of environmental, spiritual, mental, and physical wellness.
She achieves this by debunking common walking myths and providing research-based techniques, tools, strategies, and information to help her readers better their physical and mental health through walking. Furthermore, she outlines the various types of walking and their immense benefits. Her teaching is designed to accommodate walking in any weather, time, place and at any stage in life.
The author structured the book into parts. The last part features questionnaires, exercises, and steps on creating a personal fitness action plan with self-assessment tools and a physical activity contract for accountability. It is like a blueprint for getting the most value out of the previous parts. In addition, the author recommends keeping a fitness journal to track one's progress and mood.
I admire Susan's love and commitment to an active and healthy lifestyle. Her passion and desire to help others improve their physical, spiritual, and mental health through walking shines through the book's pages. Her enthusiasm and energy are infectious. She is so inspiring; I can't believe she completed a full 42km walking marathon at sixty-three. It's no wonder her work has earned her international recognition and an award for her contribution to the community.
I learned a lot from the book, but I have a quibble about its structure. Though it's a minor issue, I noticed forward-pointing arrows with page numbers at the end of some chapters and subtopics. I suppose they convey further information on said topics, but I found them distracting. A sentence stating that more would be discussed on said topics later would have sufficed. Constantly meandering from one page to another to read additional information affects reading flow and comprehension.
Despite my complaint, I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. The author did an excellent job. The personal pictures and stories she shared are beautiful and encouraging. She gave enough information to help her readers make informed walking decisions. Also, I spotted no errors in her work.
I would recommend it to everyone interested in walking for an easy and enjoyable way to stay active. Both amateurs and seasoned walkers would learn a tip or two from the book to improve the quality of their walking and better enjoy their walking time.
The Wellness Prescription
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