How Exercise Boosts Creativity and Focus
It’s well-known that exercise can benefit your heart, muscles, and bones. But did you know that regular physical activity can also improve many aspects of your brain health?
If you’ve ever come up with a groundbreaking idea or answer to a problem you’ve been stuck on when out on a walk or jog, then you know how exercise can boost creativity — just one more reason why physical activity is good for us. From boosting our mood to increasing focus to even growing new neurons, exercise is seriously good for our brains.
Research has also backed this up. One study found that people who aerobically exercised — just one time! — had improvements in both their mood and creative thinking abilities. This study even teased out the differences between better mood and creativity. Meaning, even if the exercise didn’t make people happier, they still benefited from a creative boost.
Exercising regularly has been found to increase neurogenesis — the creation of new neurons in the brain. This is because physical activity, especially aerobic exercises like walking or jogging, boosts the production of a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which promotes the survival, growth, and development of neurons in the brain’s hippocampus. More neuron growth in the hippocampus leads to a better ability to learn and consolidate memories and can help preserve brain health and cognition with age.
So, next time you have writer’s block or lack of focus, head outside for a walk, do a round of push-ups at home, or hop on a bike for a quick ride to get your creative juices flowing.