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Walking gets your brain flushed with blood, making you think clearer. To take it further, recent studies suggest that exercise more strenuous than just walking makes you better at dealing with uncomfortable decisions and situations (as exercise forces you to power through discomfort). But we need to be careful in recognizing that strenuous exercise does not enable us to make better considered decisions. It is gentle rhythmic exercise (eg. Walking, Tai-chi etc.) which does not tire out the body that is so important for brain health and better decision making.

random route generator

listening to music or other recordings may take away from the experience and the mental gains that walking provides. after 10 days of continuous autonomous movement the mind switches to a "primordial" state that could be attributable to our nomadic, hunter-gatherer past. attention gets sharper, creative impulses flourish and it's easier to perform tasks in unexpected ways. those who would like to give it a try embark on a walking adventure that is at least two weeks long, for example on pilgrimage routes which offer great views and allow one to save money thanks to the hospitality options available.

growing a brain is a walk in the park

low-intensity daily walking activity is associated with hippocampal volume in older adults

I get up at 5-5:30AM, every day, and walk two miles for 40 minutes. The walk helps me to clear my mind, and organize the day’s tasks. I generally code every day, so I often use the time to work out a tactical plan for the day’s work. Sometimes, I work out a strategy for a longer term, but it’s usually just a daily plan. I often come up with big pivots, or solve pernicious bugs, during my walk. I work in a very dynamic fashion, with frequent direction changes, during a given project, and tend to be ambitious, in my goals, so I always have problems to solve. I frequently fix bugs, right after getting home from a walk. I’ll walk up to the desk. A standing desk helps a lot here. [..] walking in a fasted state (usually early in the morning) really gets the mind turning. long thinking walks along trails in the woods (ideally a path that you know well so you don't have to think about it) can be a low-key spiritual experience.

[..] Alex Soojung-Kim Pang's book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less Pang went and read through the diaries of many notable thinkers, artists and creative types going back to the 19th century. Walking is one tool in the tool box. There are others, including getting enough sleep and taking naps.

Jeremy DeSilva. On the link between great thinking and walking

John Ratey, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (2013)