Follow in the footsteps of Steve Jobs and many other greats with this one habit for improving productivity, health, creativity, and happiness.
More than 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates stated, "walking is man's best medicine." While this was shared from a health perspective, walking being your best medicine encompasses all aspects of your life. Steve Jobs was notorious for taking walking meetings along with Mark Zuckerberg.
Besides those two guys, other greats such as Aristotle, Sigmund Freud, Harry Truman, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Ludwig Van Beethoven were among those who took daily extended walks.
Whether you're working on a book, game-changing technology, philosophical ponderings, or any other endeavor -- your creative juices aren't going to come about by sitting in front of your screen and staying inside.
Getting your body in motion is how you can find inspiration and bust through those points of resistance. Here are four powerful benefits that walking can bring to your life.
1. Improve your creativity
If you're like most people, you've likely had some great idea or breakthrough while you were being active. At first, you may have thought that this was just a hunch, but in fact, there is now research to back up this claim that activity helps stimulate your creativity.
A Stanford study from 2014 found that when people are walking, their creative output increased by an average of 60 percent.
If you find yourself stuck at the desk with no inspiration or lost for solutions at the house, head out for a walk and unclutter your mind. In addition, taking a stroll through nature helps restore your creativity.
2. Improve your health and waistline
As someone involved in the health and wellness space, I'm often asked: "what should I do to start losing weight and improving my health."
Nine out of ten times, my answer is to start walking more.
As the world becomes more and more tech-based and dependent, opportunities to become more sedentary increase which leads to obesity and decreasing productivity.
However, just starting with a 20-minute brisk walk can improve your risk of an early death. Walking also helps with lowering your risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. One of the coolest benefits of walking more is how it can provide counteracting effects to your weight promoting genes while helping your immune system.
3. Improve your productivity and focus
There's a reason why walking meetings have become so popular in today's time -- it provides an outlet to minimize distractions.
Besides improving your health while walking, you don't have your eyes fixated on the office computer screen nor engulfed in your smartphone while you're out on your walking meeting. And if you happen to be on a call during your walking meeting, you're likelier to just focus on your call instead of Candy Crush and Facebook status updates.
Walking helps you escape other distractions such as co-workers randomly interrupting your train of thought or just being annoying in general. Plus, walking is going to help forge new connections between brain cells and thus make a stronger and healthier brain which means a more capable and higher performing version of yourself.
Getting up and taking a 15-minute walk instead of sitting and checking social media can help you refocus on your tasks and workday.
4. Improve your mood and ability to relax
I'll admit, I have a tendency to brood. This is a state that cognitive scientist describes as "morbid rumination where we can't stop chewing over the ways in which things are wrong with ourselves and our lives."
Think of this as sounding like a broken record and constantly replaying situations. But by walking, especially through some form of nature helps counter those specific types of mental states.
Let's be honest, the majority of us are stressed and work often times doesn't help no matter how much you love your job. Knowing that stress is a big (and unavoidable) part of our lives, it's important to take actions to help manage our stress levels and that's what walking can bring to your life.
30 minutes of walking can improve your mood and potentially help against depression.
Lastly and most importantly, it's relaxing to just be alone with yourself at times on a leisure walk without any distractions. This serves as an outlet to escape any and all current responsibilities and worries.
About the author
Julian Hayes II is the founder of The Art of Fitness & Life and the author of Body Architect. His work has been seen and featured in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Success Magazine, and The Huffington Post.
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