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“Get Walking”: Reads & Hiking Guides

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“Get Walking”: Reads & Hiking Guides

As winter gives way to balmier days, it’s time to head outdoors and get walking!

With National Walking Day (April 5), April’s Move More Month, and May observed as National Walking Month, there is no time like spring to lace-up those sneakers and start finding our stride. 

Walking is one of the best forms of preventive medicine, experts say. The results of a literature review published last month in The British Journal of Sports Medicine reiterated the importance of walking. Researchers examined 196 studies and found that a brisk walk — of at least 11 minutes a day — significantly lowered participants’ risks for heart disease, many kinds of cancer, and mortality overall. 

Here are some walking themed books to give you inspiration and ideas for invigorating walks, as well as trail and hiking guides to help you discover the best in our great outdoors.

(Descriptions provided by the publishers.)

american ramble

American Ramble : A Walk Of Memory And Renewal by Neil King Jr.

A stunning, revelatory memoir about a 330-mile walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City–an unforgettable pilgrimage to the heart of America across some of our oldest common ground. Neil’s desire to walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City began as a whim and soon became an obsession. Determined to rediscover what matters in life and to see our national story with new eyes, Neil turned north with a small satchel on his back and one mission in mind: To pay close attention to the land he crossed and the people he met. The journey travels deep into America’s past and present, uncovering forgotten pockets and overlooked people.

The Art Of Flaneuring : How To Wander With Intention And Discover A Better Life by Erika Owen

“Have you ever been walking home from work and unexpectedly took a different path just to learn more about your neighborhood? Or have you been on a vacation and walked around a new city just to take it all in? Then chances are, you’re a flaneur and you didn’t even know it! Originally used to describe well-to-do French men who would stroll city streets in the nineteenth century, flaneur has evolved to generally mean someone who wanders with intention. Even if you’ve already embraced being a flaneur, did you know that flaneuring has benefits beyond satisfying your craving for wanderlust? Discover the many ways flaneuring can spark creativity, support a more mindful mentality, and improve your overall well-being.

Discovering The Appalachian Trail : A Guide To The Trail’s Greatest Hikes by Joshua Niven

Discovering the Appalachian Trail has something for everyone who wants a connection with the nation’s longest marked footpath at approximately 2,181 miles.

50 hikes in nj

50 Hikes In New Jersey by Daniel D. Chazin

A treasury of trails that takes you to the best wild places in the Garden State. Known more for its urban areas than its green spaces, the Garden State is actually a crossroads for major interstate trails including the Maine-to-Georgia Appalachian Trail, the 150-mile Highlands Trail, and the 60-mile Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail. Hike along the Appalachian ridge or over the ragged Wyanokies, pass into pine barrens or through marshes and dunes on the coast, and you’ll see that New Jersey has so much more to offer than just cities. These 50 routes cover walks, hikes, and backpacking trips from the Kittatinnies to Cape May. With excursions from 1.5 to 28 miles in length, accompanied by driving directions, trailhead information, difficulty ratings, and detailed maps, this roster of hikes will suit everyone from families out for a nature walk to adventurous backpackers up for challenge.

52 Ways To Walk: The Surprising Science Of Walking For Wellness And Joy, One Week At A Time by Annabel Streets

 A short, user-friendly guide to attaining the full range of benefits that walking has to offer—physical, spiritual, and emotional—backed by the latest scientific research to inspire readers to develop a fulfilling walking lifestyle. With its thought-provoking and evidence-backed weekly walk routine, this book will encourage everyone to improve how they walk, while also encouraging them to seek out new locations (many on their own doorsteps), new walking companions (our brains age better when we mix up our fellow walkers), new times of the day and night, and new skills to acquire while walking. 

Hiking The Catskills : A Guide To The Area’s Greatest Hikes by Randi Minetor

A guide to 40 of the best hikes among the Catskills’ famous peaks above 3,500 feet, as well as more moderate trails to backcountry waterfalls, easier trails to some of the area’s most spectacular viewpoints, and rail trails that provide access to woodlands and unusual geological wonders.

intimate city

The Intimate City : Walking New York by Michael Kimmelman

A cultural, architectural, and historical guide to twenty walks around and through New York, led by the NYT chief architecture critic during the height of COVID-19.  Interspersed with over one hundred stunning photographs, all taken while the city was shut down, this book bears witness to the city’s unyielding beauty and inspiration, even in the midst of great trauma. Each route is thoughtfully conveyed for the native New Yorker and visitor alike, guided not only by avenues but the windowed facades of skyscrapers, cornices of townhomes, and the public art to be found throughout the city. 

Forest Walking : Discovering The Trees And Woodlands Of North America by Peter Wollheben

This book teaches you how to get the most out of your next adventure by becoming a forest detective, decoding nature’s signs and awakening to the ancient past and thrilling present of the ecosystem around you. The author shares experiences and observations from visiting forests across North America: from the rainforests and redwoods of the west coast to the towering white pines of the east, and down to the cypress swamps of the south and up to the boreal forests of the north.

In Praise Of Walking : A New Scientific Exploration by S.M. O’Mara

Neuroscientist O’Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits walking confers on our bodies and brains. From walking’s evolutionary origins, traced back millions of years to the ocean floor, to new findings from cutting-edge research, O’Mara reveals how the brain and nervous system give us the ability to balance, weave through a crowded city, and run our “inner GPS” system, and how walking, in turn, spurs our imaginations. This book illuminates the joys, health benefits, and mechanics of walking-and reminds us to get out of our chairs and discover a happier, healthier, more creative self.

100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas : Where To Go, When To Go, What To See, What To Do by Joseph R. Yogerst

This authoritative travel guide takes you on a series of epic hiking and walking adventures on 100 trails around all 50 states and Canada.

six walks

Six Walks : In The Footsteps Of Henry David Thoreau by Ben Shattuck

On an autumn morning in 1849, Henry David Thoreau stepped out his front door to walk the beaches of Cape Cod. Over a century and a half later, Ben Shattuck does the same. With little more than a loaf of bread, brick of cheese, and a notebook, Shattuck sets out to retrace Thoreau’s path through the Cape’s outer beaches, from the elbow to Provincetown’s fingertip. This is the first of six journeys taken by Shattuck, each one inspired by a walk once taken by Henry David Thoreau. After the Cape, Shattuck goes up Mount Katahdin and Mount Wachusett, down the coastline of his hometown, and then through the Allagash. Along the way, Shattuck encounters unexpected characters, landscapes, and stories, seeing for himself the restorative effects that walking can have on a dampened spirit.

Walking : One Step At A Time by Erling Kagge

Placing one foot in front of the other, embarking on the journey of discovery, and experiencing the joy of exploration, these activities are intrinsic to our nature. Our ancestors traveled long distances on foot, gaining new experiences and learning from them. But as universal as walking is, each of us will experience it differently. For Erling Kagge, it is the gateway to the questions that fascinate him|Why do we walk? Where do we walk from? What is our destination?|and in this book he invites us to investigate them along with him. Language reflects the idea that life is one single walk; the word “journey” comes from the distance we travel in the course of a day. Walking for Kagge is a natural accompaniment to creativity: the occasion for the unspoken dialogue of thinking. Walking is also the antidote to the speed at which we conduct our lives, to our insistence on rushing, on doing everything in a precipitous manner, walking is among the most radical things we can do.

A Walking Life : Reclaiming Our Health And Our Freedom One Step At A Time by Antonia Malchik

The loss of walking as an individual and a community act has the potential to destroy our deepest spiritual connections, our democratic society, our neighborhoods, and our freedom. But we can change the course of our mobility. And we need to. Delving into a wealth of science, history, and anecdote — from our deepest origins as hominins to our first steps as babies, to universal design and social infrastructure, A Walking Life shows exactly how walking is essential, how deeply reliant our brains and bodies are on this simple pedestrian act — and how we can reclaim it.

So treat your body and mind right and walk every day, and don’t forget to listen to some music when you walk!

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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