Book Review: 52 Ways to Walk by Annabel Abbs-Streets

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For most of us, the pandemic brought about significant lifestyle changes.  For me, it meant walking: hikes with my daughter through our favorite parks and after-dinner family strolls through the neighborhood.  And for those of us who walked through the pandemic, author Annabel Abbs-Streets offer some new ideas in 52 Ways to Walk: The Surprising Science of Walking for Wellness and Joy, One Week at a Time.

This short guide is broken up into 52 sections: one for each week of the year.  In each section, she offers up a new way to walk—methods and ideas that will make walking more fun, more enlightening, and healthier, too.  Throughout this yearlong journey, she encourages walkers to get lost, to walk in the rain, to walk at night, and even to try walking backwards.  And, along the way, she backs up each new idea with plenty of stories and scientific studies to show just why walking is great for both our physical and mental health. 

With each new section, readers will discover a new way to walk—to change up the regular walking routines.  The author encourages readers to leave the car at home and take advantage of the effects that walking can have on their health and wellbeing and their relationships, too—all while exploring new places, seeing new things, and getting to know their town in a whole new way. 

The stories that the author includes with many of the sections are often interesting—both her own stories and stories from various characters throughout history.  She then backs up those stories with facts and figures and related studies.  These studies may be enlightening—and they give weight to each of the author’s ideas—but it’s a little harder to wade through all of the research and findings and statistics.  For those looking for a light and inspiring guide to health and wellbeing through walking, the research is helpful, but the details aren’t really necessary—and sometimes this book goes into great detail, making it feel more like a piece in a medical journal than a book for general audiences.

Whether you want to get in shape, find some peace, or just get out and explore the world around you, 52 Ways to Walk offers plenty of tips for getting started—or for changing up your routine.  Though the writing sometimes gets a bit too clinical, you’re still sure to find some great ideas in its pages.

You can find 52 Ways to Walk in paper, digital, and audio format on Amazon.


Kristin has been hitting the trail (or the treadmill) for a walk almost every day for the past several years, and she recently completed her first half marathon. She loves sunny fall days, cushy walking shoes, and coconut caramel iced coffee from Dunkin.

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