Review: Move: How the New Science of Body Movement Can Set Your Mind Free

Move: How the New Science of Body Movement Can Set Your Mind Free Move: How the New Science of Body Movement Can Set Your Mind Free by Caroline Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There's lots of anecdotal and scientific evidence that elevates the connection between mind and body--essentially raising the question of whether they are separate (as Global North cultures like the US often insist through discourse and policy).  Williams grabs hold of this consideration and reframes our thinking, offering that our brains evolved in relation to humankind's ability to move and be active in particular ways (on our feet, interval activity throughout the day, moving in natural ways that reflect the life of a hunter-gathering life, etc). The book then proceeds through different types of movement (aerobic exercise, muscle building, breathing, rest, stretching, etc) to explore what the current scientific studies have to say about how these impact and relate to our state of mind (from mental health to alertness to creativity to focus).  The result is boiled down to simple considerations: movement on our feet, using our weight or natural movements to build strength and finding ways to engage our ligaments and such through particular types of stretching, and nose-breathing at different rates that feel entirely actionable throughout one's day. In this way, I really like what Williams provides--a guide to increasing movement, enhancing our relationship with our bodies, and emergent ways our bodies work with our minds for better outcomes.  Where I'm a little more skeptical or feel like there is a gap is when it comes to people with different bodies. Taken too seriously, the book leaves open a suggestion that those with less mobility are less capable. It's not explicit but in the absence of any real discussion of different body types (besides young and old), it feels a bit silent.

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