OK that might sound like a bit of a stretch but we DO know that studies show walking itself “changes your brain”.
✅ Walking promotes the release of endorphins, the chemicals that stimulate relaxation and improve our mood.
✅ Going for a walk can even increase the size of your hippocampus- the region of your brain that plays a critical role in forming & storing memories.
✅ Walking has been shown to increase a person’s creative output.
✅ It increases cerebral blood flow & stimulates growth of new neurons.
✅ It lowers physical and mental fatigue.
✅ It can reduce chances of cardiovascular disease.
✅ It can even help decrease depression.
AND… while I’ve not been able to find the supporting neuroscience evidence… I would swear that walking in NEW environments heightens the value of these brain effects even further.
When I do my daily walk at home, I tend to walk almost unconsciously. Even though I have a beautiful route just outside my home/office door along a scenic lakeside path, I’ve found that walking it almost every day has reduced the novelty. It’s become almost like walking on a “track”, even though I’m in nature. I don’t tend to pay as much attention to my senses. It’s easier to be lost in my own thoughts.
Don’t get me wrong, to be “lost in thought” is not always a bad thing…but it means I’m not achieving a rejuvenating escape from my often over-thinking brain. So, one of the most important values for me of work from anywhere is simply having new walking routes.
Even with a day full of Zoom and phone meetings, I make time to get out and walk my new neighbourhood if I can’t fit in a full hike. And because the route is NEW for me… I hear sounds that I don’t hear at home.
🌟I swear that the songbirds are more active here in North Carolina! (Who needs a play list?)
🌟 I’m treated to new fragrances in the blossoms and foliage.
🌟 I notice different shades of green.
And the result, for me at least, is a noticeable uptick in creativity, fresh perspectives, and energy.
How about you?