Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Exercise & the Creative Brain

October 4th, 2011

If you follow me on twitter, you’re probably aware that I like to exercise. I’ve always been into fitness, I’ve just gotten more consistent and have pushed myself harder in the last couple of years. In a recent article at Fast Company, The Creative Brain On Exercise, Jonathan Fields tells us why fitness for writers and artists is a good idea:

…exercise isn’t just about physical health and appearance. It also has a profound effect on your brain chemistry, physiology, and neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to literally rewire itself). It affects not only your ability to think, create, and solve, but your mood and ability to lean into uncertainty, risk, judgment, and anxiety in a substantial, measurable way

Consider me a sample of one. Lately I’ve been asking myself, “Why am I in such a damn good mood?” It’s not like I’m a Joe Konrath/Bob Meyer indie-publishing success story. Nevertheless, I am in a good mood most of the time, and 2011 looks like it will be one of my most productive years ever. I think exercise has a lot to do with that.

I’m not all that disciplined. I don’t exercise everyday, but I do a lot more now than I did a couple years ago. If you’re interested, here’s an older post on the book that got me going again.

Let me know if you exercise, if you’d like to exercise, if exercise is a drug that works for you. It’s good to have a sample size larger than one!

(Hat tip: I found the Fast Company article via Andrew Sullivan’s blog.)

Posted on: Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Categories: Meanderings.
Tags: ,

2 Responses to “Exercise & the Creative Brain”

  1. Glen Kilpatrick Says:

    I find exercise incredibly boring; I’ve tried to combat the latter with TV (on the gym’s cardio exercise equipment), with MP3 books (but my player broke last month), nothing seems to work.

    But payback comes when I’m not at the gym, and what seemed hard before suddenly becomes much easier. The weighing-down of the years don’t seem so weighty when I can bound up the stairs two steps at a time, walk long distances (alas, not any eighteen miles, not yet anyway), and pound a wedge clean through a tree-trunk round with one whack (when I can hit it square on). 🙂

    I don’t seem to notice the brain chemistry, the mood altering, but because of this will be now watching for it. So no drug here, more like cod-liver oil (which I also take), good for me even if it doesn’t taste good.

  2. Linda Says:

    I’m lucky, because boredom is rarely an issue for me, I don’t know why. But yes–being able to do physical things despite the accumulating years–priceless!