ChiWalking

By Danny and Katherine Dreyer (Fireside, 2006)

In ChiWalking, Danny and Katherine Dreyer tell the story of Edward Payton Weston — a long-distance walker and one of the most beloved athletes of the early 20th century. Not only did he boggle the minds of his doctors in his later years with his astonishingly youthful eyes, lungs and muscles, but in his 60s and 70s, he beat many of the records he set as a youngster. The Dreyers explain how tai chi (which, like acupuncture, aims to increase the flow of energy along “meridians” in the body) can help you tap your own inner Weston. ChiWalking transforms regular walking into a mindful, strength-enhancing activity that only improves with age and experience. The method is centered in five key principles: alignment, core strength, balance, clear choices and forward momentum. All these have both physical and mental components — strengthening your core is about moving from a strong spine and aligned pelvis, and it’s also about keeping a clear head and solid priorities. Illustrations and photographs help the visually minded with abstract concepts like spinal alignment and energy flow, and the “walk menu” includes walks for everything from cardio workouts to focusing scattered thoughts and gathering energy. Whatever your fitness level, this is an excellent resource for improving your stride and making the most of everyday movement.

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