Can Walking Help You Think?

Aristotle did it. So did Beethoven, Dickens, Thoreau, Kierkegaard and other great thinkers. What did all these geniuses have in common? They all walked regularly, sometimes for long distances, as an essential part of their lives and work. Modern medical science now agrees with their findings: Walking is good for the brain.

It’s no coincidence that so many brilliant creative individuals have made walking part of their routine over the centuries. Studies now indicate that walking improves the brain’s creative brainstorming abilities, a type of cognition called divergent thinking (as opposed to convergent thinking, which is more about focusing on a single best solution to a problem). So if you’re in regularly need of inspiration, set up the Walkslide and get to woolgathering!

Walking in specific directions or patterns can also boost your mathematical savvy. Researchers credit a phenomenon called the “congruency effect.” Turn toward the right, and your brain will do a better job with large numbers and addition; turn toward the left, and small and subtraction suddenly seem easier. The human brain loves patterns – including, apparently, the patterns you pursue on foot.

Last but not least, walking helps the aging brain. A study of 299 senior citizens found that those who walked the most has less brain shrinkage after nine years than those who walked the least. A later evaluation of the same study participants found significantly less dementia and memory trouble among the biggest walkers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that walking can prevent dementia; it might simply delay it – but even that’s more than sufficient reason to do your brain a favor by keeping up your walking habit into your senior years.

Walking is good for entire body, including the gray matter responsible for its operation. So owning a Walkslide is an even smarter move than you thought!