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The joy of walking


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 30, 2000

WALKING PLACES IN FLORIDA, by Diane Marshall (Out There Press, P.O. Box 1173, Asheville, NC 28802, $17, plus $3 shipping)

What better place to walk than in Florida where the terrain is basically flat. Marshall, who lives in the Florida Keys, offers all sorts of suggested walking tours across the state, from downtown Fernandina Beach to the Panhandle to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples. Covering both urban strolls and nature hikes, her selections certainly are eclectic. Locally, she includes Caldesi Island State Park near Dunedin and Ybor City as well as Hyde Park's historic district in Tampa and Safety Harbor. Unfortunately, she left out my favorite walking spots in the state, Bok Towers. But who could fault someone who promises to donate 5 percent of her earnings from the book to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and 5 percent to the Friends of Florida State Parks?

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BREATHWALK: Breathing Your Way to a Revitalized Body, Mind, and Spirit, by Gurucharan Singh Khalsa and Yogi Bhajan (Broadway Books, $14)

Combining two basic activities -- breathing and walking -- "breathwalk" can help back pain, decrease hypertension, increase your energy, control your mood, make you smarter and help you feel connected. Or so say these breathwalk advocates who are experts in kundalini yoga. The technique, explained here step by step, coordinates specific patterns of conscious breathing with walking steps and meditation.

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THE WAY OF WALKING: Eastern Strategies for Vitality, Longevity, and Peace of Mind, by Jacques MoraMarco and Rick Benzel (NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group, 4255 W Touhy Ave., Lincolnwood, IL, 60712, $14.95)

Not all walking is created equal. In The Way of Walking, the authors stress a holistic approach to walking for fitness. Inspired by several Chinese and Eastern traditions, including tai chi, qi gong, zen and movements from the martial arts, their exercises, they claim, will not only build physical fitness but also emotional and spiritual dexterity as well. The workouts are suitable for people of all ages, including seniors.

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