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Exercise to Increase Creativity

By Rachel Carver

Your creative style is unique. Some people strategize while driving while others become inspired over their cup of coffee and the newspaper. But did you know research links an increase in creativity with exercise?

The Research

A 2014 Stanford University study discovered people consistently provided more inspired responses on tests used to measure creative thinking while walking versus when they were sitting. Participants scored lower when they sat down and higher when they moved. However, participants who sat down to take the test again after a second walk performed better than those who remained seated.

The research also shows indoor or outdoor walking can increase creativity. This means pacing your office during a conference call might generate some new ideas. Feeling stuck on a project? Stand up and walk a lap or two to clear your head and gain a fresh perspective.

The University of Graz in Austria continued this research. Researchers gave 79 participants activity trackers to wear for five days. The researchers wanted to determine if consistent, regular physical movement increased creativity.

The activity trackers measured vigorous exercise, walking, and spontaneous movements. The study found the most active people were the most creative.

Exercise boosts mood. But it can also make a difference in your cognitive performance. So, even if your workout leaves you frustrated, you might find yourself with a fresh idea for your next project. Use movement as a way to think through and prioritize your long to-do list.

Whether you are new to exercise or a bit out of practice, here are some activities that can improve your physical and mental health as well as your cognitive function.

Biking - Find a fun biking trail, or purchase a stationery bike for your home.

Walking - Take extra trips up and down your stairs, walk during phone calls, or schedule time to walk outside.

Lift weights - You can work many muscles with dumbbells, kettlebells, and free weights. You can research workouts online, or join a gym to learn from a trainer.

In addition to sparking your creativity, regular exercise can:

  • Combat a sedentary lifestyle
  • Decrease your risk for diabetes and heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve your stamina for other activities such as yard work and keeping up with your kids

Have more questions about regular exercise? Head to The Joint Chiropractic clinic near you to learn more about how movement keeps us healthy. And, if your last workout gave you some pain or stiffness, The Joint team can help with that also. The Joint's walk-in visits and affordable pricing make care accessible to everyone.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wichita , Kans.

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