Thursday, March 30, 2017

Walk Yourself to Better Thinking

Walking is a good way to get some exercise in. If done vigorously enough, it can help improve your heart and lung health, build muscle and bone density and has even been shown to improve mental health and quality of life.

Walking can also help improve your thinking. Walking is a complex task that we learn to do almost subconsciously. The coordination of our feet, legs, hips, arms and trunk in conjunction with our vision and inner ear usually flows seamlessly and with very little energy.

But it's a great way to get extra blood flow to the brain. In fact, this increased blood flow promotes the birth of new neurons and formation of new synapses in the brain while strengthening existing ones.

This combination of a mindless activity that stimulates brain activity is the perfect way to stimulate creativity and spawn new ideas. Remember back to Tolstoy's Daily Schedule? It included a good amount of physical activity to stimulate his mental activity that he did subsequently. He wasn't alone. Charles Dickens took 3 hour walks every afternoon, while the composer of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake walked 120 minutes. The philosopher Kierkegaard said, "I have walked myself to my best thoughts." John Muir concurred stating "In every walk in nature one receives more than he seeks." Whether that's beautiful scenery or beautiful minds, he was right.

Have a difficult problem that needs solving? Get outside for a walk and you just might think about it in a new light.

Good luck!

Until next time,


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