Walking for a Better Brain
When a 70-year-old man walked the length of the United States in 1909, he sparked a conversation that ultimately changed medicine’s ideas about the value of exercise in old age.
Wayne Curtis Oct 15 2014, 7:15 AM ET
Edward Payson Weston started off on foot from New York to San Francisco in March 1909. He was 70 years old, and would eventually arrive 105 days later, averaging about 40 miles per day. Not surprisingly, his walk triggered a lot of talk about aging and the abilities of the elderly.
Coincidentally, that same year, several men gathered at the house of G. Stanley Hall, president of the American Psychological Association, in Worcester, Massachusetts. Present were three well-known psychologists: William James, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung.
No one thought much of this high-octane get-together at the time, least of all the participants. The 67-year-old James evidently didn’t…
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