How Walking Helps Creativity

A good reason to take a walk during the workday - it will help you think more deeply and creatively. Science shows that exercise helps with memory and thinking, and the humble walk is one of the simplest ways you can capture those benefits, whenever you’re feeling scatterbrained or need to make a tough decision. Bonus: a midday walk will help prevent the negative metabolic effects of sitting at your desk for hours. A look at the science:

  • Walking, like all exercise, helps circulate more blood and oxygen to your brain and other organs.

  • Because you don’t have to devote much effort to the act of walking, your attention is free to explore new ideas.

  • Strolling at your own pace creates an unadulterated feedback loop between the rhythm of your body and your mental state. You can actively change the pace of your thoughts by deliberately walking more briskly or by slowing down.

  • Walking through a green space (park, garden) can rejuvenate your mental resources better than human-made urban environments.

  • It also promotes new connections between brain cells as well as increased volume of the hippocampus, which is crucial for memory. 

While the research into these mechanisms is relatively new, the connection has been known for centuries. Henry David Thoreau once penned, “The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”

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