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  • Foto van schrijverPieter Derycke

Smart people walk!

Or how walking improves your mental state, your cognitive abilities and your creativity.

I’d like to start this blog with some opening quotes:

“Solvitur ambulando”

Latin proverb, meaning: “It is solved by walking.”

“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”

Henry David Thoreau

“The length of his walk uniformly made the length of his writing. If shut up in the house, he did not write at all.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson on Thoreau’s walking

When a traveller asked Wordsworth’s servant to show him her master’s study, she answered “Here is his library, but his study is out of doors.”

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”

Raymond I. Myers

“If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish.”

Charles Dickens

“I would walk along the quais when I had finished work or when I was trying to think something out. It was easier to think if I was walking and doing something or seeing people doing something that they understood.”

Ernest Hemingway

“Walking is also an ambulation of mind.”

Gretel Ehrlich

“Thoughts come clearly while one walks”.

Thomas Mann

“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it… but by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill… Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be alright.”

Soren Kierkegaard, letter to Jette (1847)

And last but not least, someone talking about Darwin and his habit of walking:

“Soon after settling at Downe, Darwin constructed a sand-covered path, known as the sandwalk, that still winds through the shady woods and then returns toward the house along a sunny, hedge-lined field. He strolled it daily, referring to it as “my thinking path.” Often he would stack a few stones at the path’s entrance, and knock one away with his walking stick on completing each circuit. He could anticipate a “three-flint problem,” just as Sherlock Holmes had “three-pipe problems,” and then head home when all the stones were gone.”

I wanted to start this blogpost with some opening quotes and add a little bit of modern science. But now, there seems to be nothing left to say…

Smart people walk.



PS: you could of course also do an elaborate pubmed search and read all the papers you can find…


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