Photo credit Stefano Corso/Flickr
Last summer I was talking to Carol, who had recently started taking walks in the morning before work. She knew that walking lowered her blood pressure and made her feel more stress-proof throughout the day, but she was excited to tell me about a newly discovered side-effect: creativity! In the span of one week, she’d had three ah-ha! moments on her treadmill about novel ways to solve problems at work. Without necessarily concentrating on the problems, the solutions seemed to appear from nowhere. Nearly one year later, I’ve remembered Carol’s story because she was so delighted with the way her mind and body had worked together to create these treadmill epiphanies.
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
A new study from researchers at Stanford University examined this phenomenon in detail to find out whether walking affects creativity in a reliable way. Their findings confirm exactly what Carol had experienced. Researchers could measure a 60% increase in creativity after just 8 minutes of walking on a treadmill (vs. sitting), so just a small dose of exercise was quite powerful. Not only that, but walking outdoors enhanced the effect even more.
My vision for Freestone Nutrition Therapy is to offer all kinds of experiences for clients, including walking appointments. I look forward to all of the creative ideas that my clients will come up with as we walk and talk outside. If you’d like to try this kind of appointment, please ask. Luckily, my office is just three blocks from Camel’s Back Park and the foothills trails, so I can guarantee we’ll find an inspiring place to stroll.