Unlocking the creativity-boosting benefits of exercise
FEELING CREATIVE POST-WORKOUT? IT’S JUST ONE OF THE MANY BENEFITS OF EXERCISE. HERE’S HOW TO WORK OUT BOTH YOUR BODY AND YOUR MIND
Do you feel more creative after certain kinds of workouts? It might happen when you go for a run, and come home feeling enthused and inspired. With your heart racing and the sweat building on your forehead, your creativity is now unblocked, and you get a rush of fresh ideas.
We all know exercise can benefit our productivity at work – physical fitness and mental clarity have a well-established link. All forms of exercise can stimulate brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in our brains. Studies demonstrate that BDNF plays a role in learning, memory, and mental health, as well as helping to keep our brains fresh and young. It targets the hippocampus, the part of our brain that helps us with forward thinking, learning, and creative thoughts. The more we exercise, the more new cell growth we have there, and the more BDNF we produce. The key to successfully utilising BDNF is timing your workouts so they align with your creative sessions. If there’s something you need peak creativity for, try not to let more than three hours elapse before you switch from working out your body to flexing your creative muscles. If you need to harness your creativity at work, get your heart rate up early in the morning to give your brain that boost it needs. For more hobby-orientated creativity like DIY home projects or coming up with new recipes, hit the gym on your way home to prime your mind for inspiration.
It’s not just brutal workout sessions that prompt the endorphins you need to help you out of a mental rut – simple exercises work too, and the structure of your workout can also make a difference. We break it down for you.