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How Walking Boosts Our Thinking"

Summary of "Why Walking Helps Us Think by Ferris Jaber"

By Jennathul NishaPublished 11 months ago 3 min read

When we go for a walk, our heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen to all the organs including the brain. Many experiments have shown that during exercise, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Regular walking helps you to promote the connection between the brain cells and elevates the level of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new baby neurons.

In the 1969 Christmas issue, Vladimir Nabokov is famous for his prose writings with both parody and intense lyricism offered some directions for teaching James Joyce's "Ulysses" which is a novel. He advised him to prepare maps of Dublin, by saying "instead of perpetuating the pretentious nonsense of Homeric, chromatic and visceral chapter headings, instructors should prepare maps of Dublin with blooms and Stephen's intertwining itineraries clearly traced."

This is when Vladimir Nabokov hand- drew a Map of Joyce's Ulysses. Several decades later, a Baston college professor named Joseph Nugent and his colleague put together an annotated Google map that shows Stephen Dedalus and Leopad bloom. Mrs. Dalloway is a novel written by Virginia Woolf has a similar reconstructed path of London amblers.

Such maps can clarify how much these novels are depending on the curious link of mind and feet. The two writers accomplish this by sending characters on a walk through the town. As they walk, they are not only describing the city around the character also dipping in and out of his/her past, remolding the town's highly textured mental landscape.

"Making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh."

Many other Greek philosophers and writers have observed a deep connection between walking, thinking, and writing.

They even stated quotes on these connections;

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

Methinks that movement my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow" by Henry David Thoreau who penned his journal.

Simply in words, the ability to think better is dependent on movement.

For example, if you take some poems of William Wordsworth, poetry will be filled with nature like tramps up with forests and mountains, etc...

Evoking the emotional connection with readers. The way we move our bodies can change the nature of our thoughts and vice versa. Some psychologists explained that listening to songs with high tempos motivates us to run faster and likewise if we prefer fast music, the driver pedals a bit harder than usual. Walking at our speed builds clearheaded feedback between the body and our mental state that we experience easily when we were jogging, cooking, and during any kind of locomotion. It all depends on our mood and we can change the pace of our thoughts deliberately by walking more briskly or by slowing down.

But we don't have to devote much effort to perform walking, it's just we have to be free to wander- to overlay the world before us with a show of images from our mind. This kind of mental state that studies are linked to innovative ideas and stroke of insight.

"My doctoral advisor had the habit of going for walks with his students to brainstorm. One day we got kind of meta."

Oppezzo says of Schwartz.

Their first set of studies is the way walking changes creativity at the moment.

They conducted a series of experiments, Oppezzo and Schwartz asked 160 students to complete different tasks of creative thinking either by sitting, walking, or sauntering through the campus.

In one test, for example, volunteers have to come up with eccentric word uses for everyday objects like a button or a tire. On average, students thought of using four or more words uses for the object while they were walking than the seated students. At last, they concluded that walking opens up the free flow of ideas and it is a simple goal of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.

Perhaps, the most profound relationship between walking, thinking, and writing reveals at the end of the stroll. There it becomes that writing and walking are extremely similar because when choosing a path through a city or mountain, our brain constructs a mental map and settle one way, and translates that plan into a series of footsteps. Likewise, writing pressures the brain to review its own landscape, plot, and at last, resulting in thoughts by guiding the hands.

Ultimately, maps like one of which I told you above Nabokov drew are recursive. Walking organize the world around us; writing organizes our thoughts.


About the Creator

Jennathul Nisha

Welcome to the spot where "what if" becomes reality , Unleashing curiosity, one question at a time. Join me on a captivating journey of exploration and daydreams. See you in the magical realm of exploration! 😊✨

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  • Spencer Hawken10 months ago

    I used to listen to podcasts on my walk as it helped me to learn, but more recently I really struggle to pay attention as I’m thinking to much as I walk, so I have to listen to music, my mind is elsewhere.

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