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Sep 30

Body and Mind

Our bodies and minds are part of the same system, and what affects one, affects the other.

Two Stanford University researchers named Marilyn Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz conducted experiments on how the way we move our bodies affects the nature of our thoughts, and the way we think affects our bodies.  Their research showed that walking enhanced creative abilities.

Other scientists have found that walking in nature improved the test scores of students more than walking in city streets.

Prolific writer Joyce Carol Oates has said that she gets ideas while out jogging. And the late poet Wallace Stevens wrote his award winning poetry while walking to work each day.

There are many studies that have also shown that when you exercise, you improve blood flow to the hippocampus, that part of the brain associated with memory and learning.

Putting all of this together, walking can enhance both brain function and creativity. But beware of the thoughts you entertain while you exercise.

If you jog at the gym and watch the news or an upsetting program, this will make a deeper impression in the neural connections of your brain.

But if you contemplate creative ideas and inspiring thoughts while exercising, these too will make a deeper impression.

So move, get in nature, and use the time to think about the highest and the best.

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

―Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols