5 Ways Exercise Boosts Your Creative + 1 Bonus Benefit I Know You’ll Love!

Ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, exercise, in one form or another, has always been part of my life. From ballet, yoga and swimming, to running, kickboxing (where I happened to meet my husband — bonus!), I’ve seen exercise as integral to my happiness and success.

Because if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that exercise (and it really doesn’t matter what kind), is as essential to the health of my business is as it is my physical and emotional health.

Image courtesy of Freelancer’s Union

Whether you’re a triathlete, moderate stroller or run-only-if-you’re-being-chased exerciser, here are 6 ways exercise boosts your creativity, your happiness and your success:

1) 20 mins of exercise has proven to improve creativity for up to 2 hours
Until recently, the benefits of exercise were largely anecdotal, but a recent study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows that people who exercise regularly do better on creative tests than those who don’t. Research has shown that, not only are people more creative when actually walking, those results extend to at least 2 hours afterwards.

Tip: To get the most benefit out of your boosted mental capacity, work out in the morning and reap the benefits all day.

2) Your mind runs free
Need to get an angle on a concept or story? Exercise helps your creative mind un-hook itself from the rational mind for a while. Before you know it, that idea or hook effortlessly floats into your mind.

Tip: I always take my iphone with me so I can jot down ideas as they come.

3) It helps develop stick-with-it-ness
The first 20-minutes of exercising can feel remarkably like the first 20 minutes of a challenging creative endeavor. Youreally don’t want to do it, your body’s dragging, it feels forced. Then suddenly, you hit your stride, everything starts coming easily and you feel you could go on forever. Regular exercise reminds us to endure the initial discomfort and push through until we get to the good stuff.

4) It improves your mood
We all know that exercise boosts endorphins. Enough said!

5) Highly successful people work out daily
Richard Branson has said that exercise is is #1 productivity secret and he’s not alone. Barack Obama, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Anna Wintour all work out daily (mostly in the morning, but that’s your call).

If these 5 reasons weren’t enough here’s an excellent bonus reason:

Exercise makes your skin look younger
Worried about ageing out of your profession? According to this article in the new York times, exercise not only keeps the skin looking younger, it can ever reverse skin ageing in those who start exercising after the age of 65!

Tell me how exercise fits into your daily or weekly routine. Are you an avid mover, or does it feel like one more thing to do? Please share your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!