Then, completely coincidentally, I read this article a few days ago, and I now have actual proof that walking makes me more imaginative.
The article cites a study in which subjects were told to do one of the following for a short period of time: sit indoors, walk on a treadmill, walk outside, and so on.
They then took a test to measure their ability to think of alternate uses for common objects. Regardless of the location or environment, the walkers were found to be 60% more creative on the test.
Now, I still contend that this is a misuse of the word “creative” (see this blog entry from 2 years ago). There are tons of self-help books and articles claiming to teach you how to be more creative. Really, they’re teaching you how to be more imaginative. If you want to be more creative, go create something. Anything. But that’s a whole different subject.
The point is, walking does something to your brain to help you think outside the box, generate new ideas, and refine existing ideas. And it’s healthy!
The study didn’t mention taking a shower to be more creative. I wonder if there are other activities that promote creativity even more. When do you have your best ideas? While walking? Showering? Driving? Right before you fall asleep? While you’re brushing your teeth?