Friday, February 8, 2013

Exercise boosts your creativity

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep  your balance, you must keep moving." Albert Einstein

   There is some interesting research on the impact of exercise on creative thinking. For those of us who exercise on a regular basis this does not come us a surprise. 
   Exercise has other benefits that contribute to our creativity.
- It relieves tension
- It improves your stamina
- It increases your optimism
   Music also has an important effect because it activates the part of your brain that is hardwired for pleasure and it influences your state of mind. Hence, it makes sense to believe that combining both physical exercise and music will be even more powerful than either of them alone.
   Less than a year ago I posted a blog entry about corporal expression and creativity. I don't have any options to do it where I live, so I resorted to something else: Zumba.
    Zumba is like a dance because it allows you to exercise with music while having fun. On the other hand, it is different from any kind of real dance. If you do Zumba or are willing to try it, do not stifle your body by trying to accomplish a perfect set of movements.   
  The secret to enjoy the class is to loosen your body and to connect with the music. It doesn't matter if you are not following the exact steps your instructor is taking. You can add your touch of creativity and humor. Let your body go where it is willing to go. Leave "Mr Perfection" aside and have fun with it. Laughing is healthy too, so a good dose of it will help you to relax and get the best effects of it.
  Another important matter to consider is the instructor. After trying with different instructors, I know how important it is to connect with them. If your instructor seems to be more interested in running a marathon than in dancing, you may be better off with somebody else. 
   My favorite instructor treats the movements with care, making it easy for us to follow her and to develop our own style. Going fast serves no purpose. I also prefer instructors who hop less and dance more.
   Even a regular brisk walk outdoors is enough to benefit your mind and body with the added gift of being in touch with nature.
    If you have any specific health concerns, discuss it with your health care provider. Above all, have fun, laugh and be creative.
   Do you exercise? What do you do? Share your experience.


  1. I'm sorry to say that exercise is not much of a part of my life, except swimming in my pool in the summer months. I know I should excercise regularly, but I don't.

    1. Zumba is fun. You can try it. Avoid stressing your knees, though. I avoid it at all costs. Jumping and hopping are not good for the knees in the long-run. I avoid them. Low impact is better.

  2. Hi Julia .. I've been doing a form of Taiji Qigong .. and need to get out walking more - and generally do some stretching every day ... walking for me, now I'm older, is the essential - thank goodness spring is on its way! Cheers Hilary

    PS - Zumba sounds fun .. but with no sense of rhythm is not for me ...

    1. Interesting, Hilary. You should write about Taiji Qigong. You piqued my curiosity.

  3. Hi,,Julia! Very interesting your article.The benefits of physical activity are so good.I used to do gym and swimming.For many reasons, I do not exercise right now . I feel my body craving to start moving again! I cannot wait to start my laps again and the gym,too. Also, I will try with Zumba. I believe, I will like it! Thank you for your counsel.

  4. I'm so waiting for Rosemary Conley to do a nice zumba-like dvd for the likes of me! LOL!! I have two left feet and need repetition to do any dance moves correctly!

    I love love love Ms Conley and swear by all her exercise dvds. I think I like how she explains each move very clearly. I remember renting Davina McCall's one and after 5 minutes, giving up. The whole thing was loud and excitable and fast and incoherent (for me!!LOL!. And lots of people (well on amazon!) always complain how Ms Conley's dvds spend more time than they think necessary with the cooling down and stretching but for me they're the best bits. I don't ache so much after.

    Ok, nuff ads for Ms Conley!

    I used to ramble with the Ramblers Association and thoroughly enjoyed my time with them! I think it was the lunch/pub stops too! :-)

    Take care

    1. Good to know you are having fun with it, Old Kitty. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hey Julia, I'd try Zumba, but I'm afraid I'd break a hip :) Just kidding, I do advanced yoga poses without my joints squeaking too much.
    But you are correct, exercise really helps with my creativity and vitality.

    1. Lovely, Rick. You make me want to go back to my yoga mat. I miss it.


I appreciate each and every comment. Thank you.