Science says people with this simple habit score more on creativity
Creativity is a boon that adds sparkles to mundanity. Be it Picasso’s paintings or Wordsworth’s words, all it took was a creative tint to create magic out of the ordinary. And shockingly their secret source of inspiration was always out in the open!
History reveals that writers and artists have got their best ideas during a walk. And researchers have now unwired this science behind morning walk boosting creativity.
From Einstein to Steve Jobs, every great mind has used a leisurely walk to sharpen their creative powers.
Einstein strolled along the beach to focus on finding solutions to complex problems. Steve Jobs conducted his meetings on the go. Even Mark Zuckerberg is adopting this culture on Facebook.
Unfolding the Benefits of Walking
The physical benefits of morning walk are spoken a thousand times. It prevents obesity. Strengthens the bones. Tones the muscles. Increases flexibility. Fights diabetes. Supports a healthy heart. Manages hypertension. Prevents arthritis. Reduces cancer risk. And the list goes on…
But in the last decade, surprising benefits of morning walk for mental health has taken the tabloids by storm.
Morning walk builds a shield against stress and negativity. It improves memory and enhances focus.
The scientific preview – Creativity and Morning Walk
The benefits of a morning walk in beating stress have been long established. Morning walk in the outdoors put the brain to a meditative state. Brisk walking boosts endorphins that reduce stress hormones cortisol. Morning walk also alleviates mild depression.
Walking brings the brain to calm. It lets the prefrontal cortex rest. This is the region responsible for a person’s individuality. And letting go of your individual perspective helps you in approaching the same thing with a different perspective. This is the main trigger of creative insights.
A study conducted at Stanford supported that 10-15 minutes of brisk walking opens the mind to brilliant ideas and prodigious creativity. The research also quoted that “a person’s creative output increased by an avg. of 60 per cent when walking.”
Another scientific fact is that walking increases the flow of neurotrophins in the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that is connected with memory and pattern recognition. Thus, the morning walk makes the memory more active and brain more focused.
Recent research has revealed that walking opens up the mind to a free flow of ideas. It helps in better decision making, problem-solving and clear thinking.
Walking inside or strolling outside?
For long it was believed that walking in the outdoors is more beneficial for creative thoughts than walking in a trade mill. But recent studies have busted this belief!
The Stanford study found that walking indoors and strolling outdoors both have a similar effect on creative inspiration. It is the act of moving rather than the environment that flows in creativity.
A clinical experiment recorded that a person walking either in the indoors or in the outdoors produced twice as many creative responses as compared to a person sitting.
So, it actually does not matter where you walk! Whether it’s a beach, a jogging track or a trade mill in your little room, you can boost your creative powers right there!
You don’t need to walk long to boost creativity
Ancient sages used to walk for days continuously. And many scholars have travelled places across the world on their foot. But you don’t need to do that to ignite your creativity within.
Research and studies say that a brisk walk of 15 to 20 minutes is enough to spur the spark of creative thoughts.
Some studies also state that 35 minutes of moderate exercise prep the brain for peak intellectual performance. This workout balances the neurochemicals that contribute to cognitive functioning.
However, to build the stamina for 35 minutes of workout one needs to practice regularly. Also, people over the age of 40 can practice strolling which is a safe aerobic activity. Any intense workout including vigorous running after the age of 40 should be done cautiously. People over 40 should visit their doctor for advice before taking to aerobics.
So, next time you got an exam or have an important meeting start your day with power-packed action!
Creative benefits of the walk last long after
Creativity flows through when the body is in motion. But the benefits last long after…
People who went for a morning walk could shield their energy in the calm. They were able to perform better and get better ideas even after the walk. They feel more energized and more focused.
And if any point in the day, you feel dull and mind blocked, just go for a short walk and stir your brain.
What’s better? Walking before breakfast or after breakfast
Walking in a fasting state is said to be more beneficial for the body. But again, it depends on your individual metabolism. If you feel too hungry, too famished and fatigued then its better to grab a quick bite before heading out.
Don’t forget to carry your water bottle as it is important to stay hydrated!
Tips to get started :
For the night owls, morning walk might be the last thing in their mind. But with a few simple tricks even the night owls can start their day with an encapsulating morning walk:
- Take your alarm up by just 30 minutes.
- Keep your morning walk dress ready. You might even sleep in one.
- Ask a friend to accompany.
- Keep yourself motivated with self-pampering and gifts.
- Walk your way to the office.
- If you missed the morning slot then redeem your energy throughout the day.
Walk your way towards a creative self!
There is nothing better than starting off a hectic day with the calmness of morning walk. You will feel super energized, super positive and bang on optimistic. The morning walk helps to set your mood right.
Brisk walk adds value to the cardiac health. That is a bonus.
There are good apps available to track your walking exercise. Jot it down. You would love to look at it later.
So, from tomorrow no more snoozing your alarm! Get up, set out and be your best!