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Walking May Actually Make You More Creative

A new study finds that walking can help your brain open up

To get your brain going, you may actually need to get your feet moving. At least that's the latest according to a study out of Stanford University. "Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goal of increasing creativity," said study authors Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz in a paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

It makes sense: Tons of Silicon Valley corporations like Facebook and Google have employed the "walking meeting" model, where groups walk as they talk. According to Oppezzo and Schwartz, there's a real life benefit to meeting while moving, and it doesn't even take that much walking to see a real benefit. Researcher Arthur Kramer, who has also studied the effects of walking on the brain, says that just three 40-minute walks a week can greatly improve memory and cognitive thinking.

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But Schwartz and Oppezzo say people need even less walking than that to see a big impact. They believe that walking as little as 10 minutes a day can boost your creative skills. Why does walking work? They're not sure just yet, but they think that the act of walking may distract the brain's pre-frontal cortex just enough that it allows new ideas to sneak in. Or, another theory the researchers have, is that walking improves people's moods, which gives people the freedom to explore new ideas. Whatever the reason, we're feeling motivated to get off the couch and get moving, and that's gotta be a good thing. [USA Today


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