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Posts On Writing, Productivity for Creatives

Enhancing Creativity Through Physical Fitness

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the connection between body and mind, specifically as it relates to taking care of the body to enhance or enable creativity. I have set stretch goals for my writing this month, and will need every advantage I can give myself. The last time I set crazy goals like this was for National Novel Writing Month of last year, and during that time, I was making huge efforts to monitor and improve my eating habits. I can’t help but think the two were connected.

Some Science

I attended a panel at the Life, Universe, and Everything Writing Conference in February that talked about physical health and it’s connection to creative energy. The presenter mentioned that some of the most intelligent minds in history got some sort of exercise in their life, for example Plato, who to my surprise, was a pro wrestler.
The presenter stated it wasn’t random that these highly active individuals were intelligent and that one’s creative energy can be linked to physical wellness. It’s because physical activity helps creativity by improving the connections between neurons and increases oxygen intake to the brain.
This makes a lot of sense to me. On the days where I’ve felt particularly stuck on a problem with my writing, I’ve had breakthroughs while either running or taking a walk around the block. Realizing this piqued my interest in tracking this for myself, and in thinking back to my NaNo experience, I decided I want to throw in eating better as well.
This month, I’m taking the time and track the correlation between my creativity and my physical health.

The Experiment

I’ve done some thinking into how I want to track my physical wellness versus creativity. My plan goes as follows:

  1. Through the month of August, use an app to track what I’m eating throughout the day.
  2. Track which days I get physical activity of some kind, whether it be a walk around the block, a run around the neighborhood, or yoga in my front room.
  3. Take notes on my writing sessions every day, focusing on how creative I felt or how much energy I had during my allotted time.
  4. Use all this information to see how I treat my body through food and physical activity relates to my writing sessions each day for a whole month.
  5. Once or twice a week, make updates on social media about how I’m doing with these goals and what I’m feeling over the course of the experiment.
  6. Write a follow-up blog post synthesizing my findings.

What I Hope to Gain

Through this, I hope to gain a better understanding of how I treat my body affects my ability to write. Quarantine has made me lazy (as I’m sure it has for many of us) and I would like something to motivate me to get back on track outside of “trying to lose weight.” Weight loss goals discourage me and I end up sabotaging myself when I work for it. I need something with more substance to get me going and keep me going, so I’m hoping to find better motivation to take care of body at the end of this experiment.
Another benefit I hope to gain from this experiment is to find a way to jump-start my creativity. I feel like I’m in a critical place with my writing: the editing of one project and the beginning of a second. I would love a leg up on productivity, and if I can get it naturally, even better. It would be awesome to know that all I gotta do to be at my top performance is to take care of my bod and the rest will just…come.
The last thing I’m excited to see is what outlying benefits come as a result of this experiment, particularly in the creative space. I don’t have any expectations here, mainly because I don’t know what’s possible. It’ll be interesting. But here is my commitment to you to stay accountable and do my best to uphold both these goals and get some valuable information about the physical connection to creativity.
Do you have an interest in learning more about how taking care of the body affects creativity? Please join me in this journey to find out how it works. What types of things do you do right now to amp up your creativity? What is something you would like to try that you’ve heard is good to do, but have never gotten around to testing? Let me know in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “Enhancing Creativity Through Physical Fitness”

  1. Interesting (but daunting) project! I do know about how sleep and going for a walk both improve my creativity. When my brain feels fried, i go for a walk, and often have new creative ideas afterwards. Never thought much about food. Looking forward to read your follow up.

    Like

    1. Hello! The apps I was using to complete this experiment were My Fitness Pal, Google Sheets, and the Nike fitness app on my iPod 🙂 Nothing super fancy. That being said, the tools were super flexible, so if you were looking to try this yourself, you could customize it in a way that best fits you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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