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Exercise Enhances Your Creativity

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Writer's block? Stuck on a project and need inspiration? Turns out that a workout could be what you need…

We know that exercise is beneficial in many ways, but studies have also shown that exercise can improve our ability to think creatively. In the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Cognitive psychologist Professor Lorenza Colzato found that those who exercised four times a week did better on tests of creativity than their less active peers.

Specifically, they noted that regular exercise was associated with “improved divergent and convergent thinking, which are considered the two components of creative thinking”. (For the less science-minded amongst us, this basically means thinking of either multiple solutions for one problem, or finding one solution for that problem.) Anyone who exercises regularly knows that your thinking process changes when you are active. New ideas tend to bubble up and form when you are in the aerobic zone. You become better able to connect the dots and problem solve with a cognitive flexibility that you don't have when you are sitting at your desk.

How does this work? Well, to simplify things, subjects that require logic and analytical thinking are left brain activities. Creative pursuits, such as music, art, and the ability to see things holistically, as opposed to in parts, are right brain dominant activities. Most of us spend the majority of our time in left brain dominant thinking, which means we solve problems in a very logical, linear way.

Physical exercise helps your creative process by forcing you out of left brain dominant thinking. By stopping the constant chatter of the left brain, space will be created for inspiration, creativity, and new ideas to begin bubbling to the surface. An article in Psychology Today describes it beautifully: “Sweat is like WD-40 for your mind - it lubricates the rusty hinges of your brain and makes your thinking more fluid. Exercise allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in the subconscious…”

So to clear those cobwebs from your mind and find that “eureka” moment, we suggest you get moving!

#take30minutes

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