“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking” – Friedrich Nietzsche
I don’t know if this is true or not, but there is something about walking that encourages thinking for the sake of thinking. I suspect it really is the physical act of walking in itself that awakens the brain; perhaps it’s because walking is such an automatic act, it requires little thought on its own. Also, the physical activity increases the heart beat, oxygen intake, and so on.
There’s also the visual input that causes the brain to have to process, at least at some level, the information coming in. Trees, houses, traffic, road conditions, trash – it all works in ways that we don’t realize to exercise the brain.
Living in Oregon, in the cold, gray dampness that seems to last forever, much of my walking is done on a treadmill. If it’s not dark outside, I usually try to open the blinds to get some vew of the outdoors. Even if I’m left staring at the wall in front of me, walking encourages thinking.
I find that whether I’m feeling blessed, stressed, depressed or obsessed (like that?), when I’m walking, it gives my brain a chance to work things out.
It’s a good thing. So why don’t I do it more often?