For our earliest ancestors who hunted and gathered, movement meant survival. Our brains evolved to reward physical activity. Moving, thinking and feeling have always been inextricably linked.
Yet what happens when we stop moving? Today, on average, we spend around 70 percent of our lives sitting or lying completely still. Our sedentary lifestyle—desk jobs, long commutes and lots of screen time—is not only bad for our bodies. It can also result in anxiety, depression and a lower overall IQ.
But there's good news. Even the simplest movements can reactivate our bodies and open up a hotline to our minds, improving our overall well-being and longevity. And we don't have to spend countless hours in the gym. In fact, exercise as we understand it misses the point.
Veteran science journalist Caroline Williams explores the cutting-edge research behind brain health and physical activity, interviewing scientists from around the world to completely reframe our relationship to movement. Along the way she reveals easy tricks that we could all use to improve our memory, maximize our creativity, strengthen our emotional literacy and more. A welcome counterpoint to the current mindfulness craze, Move offers a more stimulating and productive way of freeing our caged minds to live our best lives.
"Caroline Williams has created a true movement manifesto that made me want to get out of my chair. In fact, I read this amazing book while riding a stationary bike! Move is a brilliantly crafted guidebook to better health for everyone, backed by science and common sense. Williams uses painstaking research, along with emotional hooks to bring the reader to the most logical conclusion: we all need to prioritize movement in our lives."
—Charlie Engle, ultramarathoner and author of Running Man: A Memoir
“I have always found that working in my garden gives me a great feeling are of well-being and now, thanks to Caroline Williams, I am understanding why. The explanations in Move of the science behind connections between the brain and movement are well researched, understandable, and fascinating. So now when I’m weeding in the garden, I’ll also be dancing, stretching, and breathing. My plants might not appreciate this, but my body will.”
—Penny Le Couteur, author of Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History
"In this rigorously reported and entertaining account, Williams offers a genuinely new perspective on the links between how we move and how we think and feel, forcing us to rethink our assumptions about the distinction between body and mind.
—Alex Hutchinson, author of Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance
"Our bodies are designed to be in motion, and our minds suffer when they aren't. Move is science writing at its absolute best: lucid, informative, authoritative, fascinating—and very very important."
—Guy Claxton, author of Intelligence in the Flesh
"I found so many jewels of information and advice in the pages of this wonderful book,,,, Caroline Williams' inquisitive but incredulous nature allows her to shepherd the reader on this enjoyable journey, exploring how we can all lead a more fulfilling and healthier life."
—Joshua Mezrich, M.D., author of When Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon
"A letter to an 'I think, therefore I am' culture that knows our bodies need exercise, but imagines our minds as somehow separate. Williams reveals ways folks can reconnect their mind to body, and their body to movement. Even if you already 'get' that exercise makes you feel better, Move enhances the picture so you can see how the researched details fit together."
—Katy Bowman, M.S., bestselling author of Move Your DNA